I want replace the word "serious" with a phrase or word of a similar meaning in the following context:

Upon hearing what he had to say, I thought he was playing games with me, but he was serious.

I am looking for a word that has the same gravity as "serious" but more negative connotations, similar to "grave". But I find that "grave" doesn't fit particularly well within the above example.

  • When asking for a replacement word, it helps for you to say what qualities of you would like to find in the replacement, and why the existing word doesn't suit your requirements. – Lawrence Jun 23 '17 at 15:07
  • Sorry! I'm new on here. I edited to include more information. – Mrigank Arora Jun 23 '17 at 15:09
  • No problem. Your edit makes it much clearer what you're after. By the way - welcome to EL&U! – Lawrence Jun 23 '17 at 15:33
  • I think your term "serious" works well for your example. – Lawrence Jun 23 '17 at 15:33
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    But serious doesn't mean "truthful", except in the highly specific context of being contrasted with lighthearted "untrue" banter, etc. So are you looking for an antonym of playful, or lying? – FumbleFingers Jun 23 '17 at 15:47

Sober, somber, solemn, and grim are all words that could work in this context.


Upon hearing what he had to say, I thought he was playing games with me, but his voice was grim.

  • I was going for a more negative connotation, similar to "grave". Sorry! I'll edit and put in that information. – Mrigank Arora Jun 23 '17 at 15:06

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