sans serif


sans ser·​if san-ˈser-əf How to pronounce sans serif (audio)
variants or sanserif
: a letter or typeface with no serifs

Illustration of sans serif

Illustration of sans serif

Examples of sans serif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The big divide in the world of typeface is between serif, or letters with small lines or tails attached to their edges, and sans serif, letters without those lines that have a smoother look. Victor Mather, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 The font is sans serif but playful. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 2 Dec. 2022 Other homes around it got fresh paint, sans serif house numbers and were flipped for a $1 million and more. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2023 In the world of typography, there are two main categories – serif and sans serif. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2023 The move has re-sparked a long running debate about the merits and readability of serif versus sans serif fonts. WIRED, 20 Jan. 2023 Its storefronts are outfitted with pale wood, white tiling, and a logo styled in an oppressively inoffensive Helvetica-esque sans serif font. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 14 Dec. 2022 In New York City, anonymous activists have twice hung large green banners with text in white, capital, sans serif letters. John Corso-Esquivel, The Conversation, 22 July 2022 The approvals granted Friday included plans for the sign proclaiming the Sherwin-Williams corporate name near the top of the skyscraper on its east- and west-facing facades in italic, or slanted, letters in a sans serif font. Steven Litt, cleveland, 3 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sans serif.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from sans + modification of Dutch schreef stroke — more at serif

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sans serif was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near sans serif

Cite this Entry

“Sans serif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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