dead serious


      • to emphasize the seriousness of a statement or action
        to convey that someone is completely serious and not joking about something

      • to emphasize the extreme nature of a situation or condition
        to indicate that something is very serious or severe

    Examples of dead serious

    • Even though the flight attendants tried to lighten the mood with jokes, the captain's serious demeanor kept us all dead serious during the turbulent landing.

      In this example, "dead serious" means extremely focused and intense, while "turbulent landing" refers to a rough and unsafe landing caused by strong winds or other weather conditions. The captain's seriousness added to the tense atmosphere, making everyone else feel serious and concerned as well.

    • My friend's thesis presentation was dead serious, as if she were about to save the world or something.

      Here, "dead serious" is used to describe the intensity and importance of my friend's presentation. She seemed very focused and determined, as if she were presenting something of great significance, like a matter of life and death.

    • The police officer's stern warning left us all dead serious and shaking in our boots.

      In this example, "dead serious" is used to describe the seriousness and intensity of the police officer's warning. His stern demeanor made us all feel serious and frightened, as if we were about to be punished for something serious and dangerous.

    • My boss's dead serious expression as she delivered the bad news left us all silent and somber.

      Here, "dead serious" is used to describe the intensity and gravity of my boss's expression as she delivered bad news. Her seriousness and intensity made us all feel silent and somber, as if we were mourning a loss or facing a terrible tragedy.

    • The detective's demeanor was dead serious as he interrogated the suspect, leaving no room for doubt or deception.

      The phrase "dead serious" here means that the detective's behavior showed no signs of jest or playfulness, indicating that he was extremely focused and determined to elicit the truth from the suspect.

    • The athlete's determination to win the gold medal was dead serious, putting in countless hours of grueling training to achieve his goal.

      This use of "dead serious" suggests that the athlete's commitment to winning was so intense and unrelenting that it was almost as serious as death itself.

    • The CEO's speech at the annual meeting was dead serious, with no jokes or lightheartedness, as he announced a major restructuring of the company.

      By calling the CEO's speech "dead serious," we emphasize that it was grave and purposeful, leaving no room for casualness or frivolity.

    • Despite the comedian's reputation for raunchy humor, his act tonight was dead serious, addressing issues of social justice and inequality.

      This use of "dead serious" hints at a dramatic shift in the comedian's style, signaling that he has chosen to confront weighty social issues instead of his usual comedic fare.


    "Dead serious" is used to emphasize the seriousness of a statement or action, indicating that someone is completely serious and not joking. It can also be used to emphasize the extreme nature of a situation or condition, indicating that something is very serious or severe.

    Origin of "dead serious"

    The origin of the idiom "dead serious" is not entirely clear, but it is thought to have originated in American English in the early 20th century. The use of "dead" as an intensifier to emphasize the seriousness of something has been present in English idiomatic expressions for centuries. In this context, "dead" is used to emphasize the absolute and unchanging nature of the seriousness being conveyed. The addition of "serious" further amplifies the emphasis on the gravity of the situation or statement. The idiom has since become widely used in both spoken and written English to convey a strong sense of seriousness or sincerity. Its usage has extended to various contexts, including informal conversations, literature, and media. Overall, "dead serious" has become a popular and widely understood idiom for emphasizing the utmost seriousness of a statement or situation.