\ ˈsir How to pronounce sere (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of sere

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being dried and withered
2 archaic : threadbare



Definition of sere (Entry 2 of 2)

: a series of ecological communities formed in ecological succession

Synonyms & Antonyms for sere

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Sere has not wandered very far from its origins—it derives from the Old English word sear, meaning "dry," which traces back to the same ancient root that gave Old High German, Greek, and Lithuanian words for drying out and withering. Several nouns sere also exist; one is an obscure nominal form of the adjective, but the others are etymologically unrelated to the adjective or to one another. The most common of the nouns is a 20th-century coinage from the Latin word series (meaning "series"), which refers to a series of ecological communities formed in ecological succession.

Examples of sere in a Sentence

Adjective a sere region that can't support agriculture
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But when firefighters struggled to contain a 50-by-50-foot brush fire on a sere hillside in Laguna Niguel on Wednesday afternoon, officials grew concerned. Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Reaching Fengxiang required an eight-hour train journey across a sere landscape dotted with fields and the occasional skeletons of half-finished apartment blocks. Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Aug. 2021 Taken as a whole, McMurtry’s work constitutes one of the greatest achievements of any American novelist — rich, vivid, soulful, as disarmingly beautiful as the sere landscape and always narratively potent. Kyle Smith, National Review, 28 Mar. 2021 This is the dry side of the island with sere grasslands and free-range goats. Ken Van Vechten, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2019 With thick brushstrokes, Ms. Harricks summons the sere land and low trees of the Australian bush, the unseen moon turning the ground almost white as the dingo hunts for a rabbit to feed her pups. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2019 Ely Ortiz and the members of his rescue crew, Aguilas del Desierto, or Desert Eagles, spread out across the flat, sere desert. Bob Ortega, CNN, 15 May 2018 Bay Area clarinetist Ben Goldberg thrives in sparse settings, where the sere bite of his melodically fluid lines can stand out in stark contrast to surrounding silence. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 20 Apr. 2018 From the marine melting pot of the Galápagos and the sere beauty of the Atacama Desert to the snowcapped peaks of Patagonia and the grassy plains of the pampas, the variety of terrain is unmatched. Priscilla Eakeley, Town & Country, 5 Oct. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Short stories are an ideal gateway to Mr. MacLaverty’s oeuvre, delivering in a few pages a burst of the sere prose and perception found in his novels. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 As part of the innovative pick-up deal, the seres will also be broadcast on the CBS later in 2020, following its run on Pop. Will Thorne,, 27 June 2019 Photo: Scott London Last year’s event drew about 75,000 people—and 317 works of art—to the sere, chalky landscape. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sere


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sere


Middle English, from Old English sēar dry; akin to Old High German sōrēn to wither, Greek hauos dry, Lithuanian sausas


Latin series series

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The first known use of sere was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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