I am writing an essay for In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway and I need a word that means "to lack seriousness".

  • 1
    Have you looked up antonyms of serious? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 12 '15 at 23:37
  • Immature comes to mind as a possibility. – Grant Daniel Jan 12 '15 at 23:53
  • 2
    In honor of Hemingway's boxing, your could say "lightweight". – TRomano Jan 13 '15 at 0:20

"Frivolous" maybe?

I think it depends on what you consider as seriousness, like "depth" or serious mood.

Google translate also yields

flippant, glib, facetious, joking, jokey, lighthearted, fatuous, inane, senseless, thoughtless, flip; time-wasting, pointless, trivial, trifling, minor, petty, insignificant, unimportant, de minimis


flippant - (adj) "lacking proper respect or seriousness" - MW, frivolously disrespectful or lacking in seriousness. TFD

  • "He made a flippant response to a serious question."

  • "His flippant comment offended many people."

  • "You have many talents but you are a flippant person."


is silly seems simple. The thesaurus yields wonders from there.


Possibly, Levity:

Google response for lev·i·ty /ˈlevədē/ (noun): levity; (plural noun: levities) humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect. i.e., "as an attempt to introduce a note of levity, the words were a disastrous flop"

synonyms: lightheartedness, high spirits, vivacity, liveliness, cheerfulness, cheeriness, humor, gaiety, fun, jocularity, hilarity, frivolity, amusement, mirth, laughter, merriment, glee, comedy, wit, wittiness, jollity, joviality, i.e., "without some occasional levity, the working environment is no better than a sweatshop"



Also maybe Trivial or, depending on context, I also like Flip or Flippant (previously suggested by @Centaurus.)

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