adjective \ˈsir-ē-əl\

: arranged or happening in a series

of a crime : committed many times usually in the same way

of a criminal : committing a series of crimes

Full Definition of SERIAL

:  of, relating to, consisting of, or arranged in a series, rank, or row <serial order>
:  appearing in successive parts or numbers <a serial story>
:  belonging to a series maturing periodically rather than on a single date <serial bonds>
:  of, relating to, or being music based on a series of tones in a chosen pattern without regard for traditional tonality
a :  performing a series of similar acts over a period of time <a serial killer>
b :  occurring in or involving such a series <a serial murder>
:  relating to or being a connection in a computer system in which the bits of a byte are transmitted sequentially over a single wire — compare parallel
se·ri·al·ly \-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of SERIAL

  1. The pictures are numbered and arranged in serial order.
  2. Scientists made serial observations over a period of two weeks.

First Known Use of SERIAL


Rhymes with SERIAL



: a story that is broadcast on television or radio or that is published in a magazine in separate parts over a period of time

Full Definition of SERIAL

a :  a work appearing (as in a magazine or on television) in parts at intervals
b :  one part of a serial work :  installment
:  a publication (as a newspaper or journal) issued as one of a consecutively numbered and indefinitely continued series

Examples of SERIAL

  1. <the university library has a vast collection of serials>

First Known Use of SERIAL


Other Publishing Terms

annotate, dreadful, emend, expurgate, factoid, jump, lobster shift, redaction, referee


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Film presented in a series of episodes over several months. The serials, usually adventure melodramas, probably developed from the adventure stories published in monthly installments in magazines. The first internationally popular serial, The Perils of Pauline (1914), starring Pearl White, was followed by other serials such as The Hazards of Helen, which ran for 119 episodes (1914–17). Serials focused on action sequences, with cliff-hanging endings for each episode. They remained popular with movie audiences, especially children, into the 1940s.


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