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 Last year suspected serial killer Bruce Lindahl, who died while committing a fatal stabbing in Naperville in 1981, was ruled out as the person responsible for Hanson’s death. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, 4 June 2021 Anderson stars in this Northern Ireland–set three-season series opposite Fifty Shades of Grey lead Jamie Dornan, who plays a serial killer named Paul Spector. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 1 June 2021 In Washington state, which has a similar law, one male inmate who transferred into the women’s prison was a serial killer of women. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, 31 May 2021 In 2018, a serial killer in Mexico City was caught only after he was found pushing a dismembered body down the street in a baby carriage. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 In Smith’s book, the de Vil family home, Hell Hall, was once owned by a grandfather believed to be a serial killer; one of Cruella’s other ancestors was purportedly a demon with supernatural powers. Jeanna Kadlec, Glamour, 25 May 2021 The show's shocking season 1 finale heavily implied that Kristen murdered a serial killer who was stalking her family and might be possessed. Rachel Yang, EW.com, 24 May 2021 Meanwhile, in California, Jackie, Freddie and Lane (Rachel Sennott, Joey Bragg, Austin Crute) have gotten hooked on true-crime TV shows and begin to suspect that Danny is a serial killer. Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2021 The show, about Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst for the Miami PD who also happens to be a serial killer, aired for eight seasons before being revived for a 10-episode run this fall. BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Owners of Ring devices can find out if their doorbell is included in the recall by entering the serial, or S/N, number at http://support.ring.com/ring-2nd-gen-recall. Anchorage Daily News, 11 Nov. 2020 The serial will be available for online viewing through May 2021. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Oct. 2020 Pattinson's preacher Preston Teagardin presents his own level of creepiness, with his insidious preacher serial-prowling on his young flock. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 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

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serial. Accessed 14 Jun. 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

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