Serious vs. Sirius

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Serious and sirius are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words serious and sirius, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Serious is an adjective that describes something solemn, profound, or important. Something that is serious should be considered and pondered carefully; it should not be thought about in a lighthearted or humorous manner. Something that is serious is significant and may deeply affect subsequent events or endeavors. The word serious is derived from the Latin word, serius, which means grave or important. Related words are seriously and seriousness.

Sirius, also known as the dog star, the brightest star in the sky; it is located in the Canis Major constellation. Sirius is a binary star; it has a white dwarf companion that is difficult to see from Earth. The name Sirius is derived from the Greek word, seirios, which means scorching. Many constellations are named after Greek myths. In mythology, Sirius is the name of Orion’s dog. Orion is known as The Hunter. The Orion constellation and the Canis Major constellation, which contains the star, Sirius, seem to be adjacent to each other when viewing the stars from Earth. Note that Sirius is properly rendered with a capital letter because it is a proper name.


Over the past two days Israel has experienced the highest numbers of serious cases of COVID since the beginning of September. (Haaretz)

The bicyclist was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. (Longmont Times-Call)

With Sirius still below the horizon, Arcturus is the brightest star Northern Hemisphere observers will see in the sky. (Astronomy Magazine)

Sparkling, blue-white Sirius the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky, rises in the east-southeast 20 minutes after sunset this evening and will rise simultaneously with sunset by month’s end. (Berkshire Edge)

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