1 of 2


variants or less commonly sear
: being dried and withered
archaic : threadbare


2 of 2


: a series of ecological communities formed in ecological succession

Did you know?

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
Seidensticker pointed out Kawabata’s ties to Japanese poetry: This was prose of a sere, haiku-like delicacy and suggestiveness, with much implied and little specified. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2023 Early hominids may have stood up and gotten naked as a way to cope with heat stress on the sere African savanna. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 But the western region accounts for a small fraction of the land, which unfolds east from the Cascades in expanses of sere high desert, lush pasture and thick forest. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2023 As the sere image above suggests, the shortgrass prairie of eastern Colorado is ordinarily a dry place. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 11 Apr. 2013 Just to the east of the Sierra Nevada lies the sere landscape of the Basin and Range province, characterized by linear mountains and valleys arranged roughly in parallel. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 24 Apr. 2018 Here was a tense dialectic that energized his entire career—a tugging between a world of civic engagement, where all pronouncements are dubious, and a sere realm of a lovely, but unsustainable, disembodiment. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 Thirst becomes the overarching metaphor for human desire in a sere landscape. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 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
Tennyson ends up completing the workout in 24 minutes (Todd's best time, for reference, is 9:30) and then Todd puts him through a seres of drills to instil him with the right arm wrestling technique. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 12 May 2023 The new drama seres, City on Fire will be available to stream starting Thursday, May 11. Josie Howell |, al, 11 May 2023 Thankyou for the apportuny sere th tte of Rhode land nd Hs get communities. Alexa Gagosz,, 11 Jan. 2023 Or crystalline and sere and cool—as explorers to Mars might discover? Brad Leithauser, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sere.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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


Latin series series

First Known Use


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


1916, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near sere

Cite this Entry

“Sere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: being dry and withered
sere leaves
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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