serial

adjective
se·​ri·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl How to pronounce serial (audio) \

Definition of serial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or arranged in a series, rank, or row serial order
2 : appearing in successive parts or numbers a serial story
3 : belonging to a series maturing periodically rather than on a single date serial bonds
4 : of, relating to, or being music based on a series of tones in a chosen pattern without regard for traditional tonality
5a : 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
6 : 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

serial

noun

Definition of serial (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a work appearing (as in a magazine or on television) in parts at intervals
b : one part of a serial work : installment
2 : a publication (such as a newspaper or journal) issued as one of a consecutively numbered and indefinitely continued series

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Other Words from serial

Adjective

serially \ ˈsir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce serial (audio) \ adverb

Examples of serial in a Sentence

Adjective The pictures are numbered and arranged in serial order. Scientists made serial observations over a period of two weeks. Noun the university library has a vast collection of serials
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 2018 arrest of California serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo, dubbed the Golden State Killer, introduced forensic genetic genealogy to the world. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 10 July 2021 In season 2, Kristen is struggling with her inner darkness after murdering a serial killer, David is facing temptation as his ordination draws closer, and Ben is suffering from nightmares. Chancellor Agard, EW.com, 8 July 2021 Bruce's telling forges her own ending for the serial killer. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 7 July 2021 Investigators have been unable to determine who killed them or whether a lone serial killer or several suspects were involved. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, 29 June 2021 In the new trilogy—which is inspired by the R.L. Stine novel series of the same name—Sink stars in Part 2 as Ziggy, a rebellious teen at a summer camp that may (or may not) have a serial killer lurking around. Christian Allair, Vogue, 29 June 2021 Picking up immediately after 2018's Halloween, fans see in the trailer how the serial killer survives that film's climactic house fire to continue his rampage. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 25 June 2021 At the start, college student Charlie Jordan is mourning the loss of her best friend, who was murdered by a serial killer — a very relatable setup. Marshall Heyman, Vulture, 23 June 2021 The difference is Sam, somewhere along the way, perfected teeing him up for the big reaction to that day's trending news items, cancel culture target or latest dreamy actor to grace the screen in portrayal of serial killer Ted Bundy. Scott King, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Actor Noel Neill, who played Superman’s love interest, Lois Lane, in both a movie serial and on TV, died in Tucson, Ariz., at age 95. BostonGlobe.com, 3 July 2021 Tuesday marked 37 years since Margaret delighted soap opera fans with a guest-starring turn on the beloved British serial The Archers. Lanford Beard, PEOPLE.com, 23 June 2021 Soon after its initial success, the first movie was retitled Episode IV—A New Hope because Lucas wanted viewers to feel as though the film were one chapter in an ongoing Saturday-morning serial. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 21 June 2021 Understandable delaying tactics for a network serial, but quite sweaty in a nine-part saga. Darren Franich, EW.com, 5 Mar. 2021 This fire, along with other lesser fires in the decade, led authorities to believe a serial arsonist was on the loose in Laurel. Kevin Leonard, baltimoresun.com, 23 Apr. 2021 The case of an alleged serial arsonist accused in a dozen blazes across five counties in Maryland broke after investigators in Prince George’s released black-and-white surveillance video from a 2019 fire in Laurel searching for tips. Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2021 Now, with a waning Mr. Trump self-soothing with OANN and Newsmax and tweeting out the elaborate sci-fi serial that the election was stolen from him, command of that battle is returning from the White House to the field. New York Times, 14 Dec. 2020 Inspired by a ‘40s radio serial, the masterful comic centers on two Chinese American teenagers who must help the Man of Steel battle the KKK’s racial violence shortly after World War II. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of serial

Adjective

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for serial

Last Updated

12 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serial. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for serial

serial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of serial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

serial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of serial (Entry 2 of 2)

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

serial

adjective
se·​ri·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl How to pronounce serial (audio) \

Kids Definition of serial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: arranged in or appearing in parts or numbers that follow a regular order a serial story

serial

noun

Kids Definition of serial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a story appearing (as in a magazine or on television) in parts at regular intervals

More from Merriam-Webster on serial

Nglish: Translation of serial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about serial

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