serial

adjective
se·​ri·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl \

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 \ 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

American officials have pressed allies in Europe and elsewhere not to let Huawei monopolize telecommunications infrastructure, portraying the company as a serial violator of U.S. laws and global business practices. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Chinese Investment in Israel Raises Security Fears," 11 Feb. 2019 Not a serial murderer or a mob boss or a stick monster king? Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, ""Riverdale" Midseason Premiere's Most Shocking Moments," 17 Jan. 2019 The book, named for London's tony neighborhood, was originally published in 2016 in serial format through an app. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Downton Abbey Creator Julian Fellowes Is Working on a New Period Drama Called Belgravia," 15 Jan. 2019 The show first aired early last year on FX, and in the months since, it's become something of an awards season darling, winning multiple Emmys and earning Darren Criss a Golden Globe for his performance as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How to Watch The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," 27 Jan. 2019 Here, take a closer look at the serial killer who devastated the nation. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 Over the course of the series, an uneasy alliance develops, as her intellect and insight into the serial-killer nature prove to be invaluable. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Luther is back and as broody as ever in new trailer for fifth season," 29 Nov. 2018 At the retrial in Montgomery County Court, prosecutors portrayed him as a serial predator. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3-to-10 Years in Prison for 2004 Sexual Assault," 25 Sep. 2018 Annnd that she's related to a Jack the Ripper serial killer suspect. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "11 Meghan Markle Headlines From This Year That Are So Ridiculous, You Have to Laugh," 25 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company will also be slashing 40 percent off of its serials on Black Friday. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The best Black Friday deals for readers," 24 Nov. 2018 The company has already forged an impressive track record with serials such as Bookburners, The Witch Who Came In From The Cold, and others. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 Photo: Kino Lorber Grace Cunard played equally intrepid heroines in her popular adventure serials. Kristin M. Jones, WSJ, "‘Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers’ Review: Highlighting a Forgotten History," 18 July 2018 By the ’30s, the image-savvy company was a household brand, sponsoring NBC radio serials (and later hiring Saul Bass, the legendary graphic designer known for his striking movie posters and credit sequences, to create its logo). Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "That red plastic cup is a Chicago original. Proceed to party.," 29 June 2018 But your credentials as a government serial cleaner really good. Fox News, "Judge Jeanine: Democrats call in serial 'cleaner' Bob Mueller," 18 Aug. 2018 Each week, Serial Box app users will get a push notification containing a tiny story: no more than 150 words, drawing from the larger pool of authors who have worked on the company’s serials. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Serial Box is experimenting with super-short fiction with Microfiction Mondays," 28 June 2018 Though his presence loomed large in the world of comics, as his creations went mainstream, Lee became familiar to even those who’d never picked up a weekly serial. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Remembering Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics Legend, Dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 Each new season brings a crop of movies and glossy TV serials dramatizing the heroics of our Special Operations. Mark Bowden, New York Times, "Claiming the Title of United States Marine," 26 Feb. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near serial

Sergipe

sergt

Seri

serial

serial comma

serial homology

serialise

Statistics for serial

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for serial

The first known use of serial was in 1823

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on serial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with serial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for serial

Spanish Central: Translation of serial

Nglish: Translation of serial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about serial

Comments on serial

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