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 serially (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

There are even more serial killer interview sequences, all of them riveting in different ways, depending on the killer’s style of confession and — more important — the interviewer’s own triggers. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "This week on TV: When shows improve, Kelly Clarkson chats, and Dems look for viral moments," 8 Sep. 2019 There are a lot of comparisons to the Cleveland Browns, who sat in tank limbo for years, and the Philadelphia 76ers, the pioneers in serial tanking. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: The Dolphins are tanking, and it’s beautiful given the next two QB drafts | Commentary," 2 Sep. 2019 Right now through Sunday, Sept. 1, the chain of comics stores is offering 25 percent off on all board games and trade paperbacks (those are collected versions of serial comic books and graphic novels). Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian: Coliseum of Comics offering discount on board games, comics," 30 Aug. 2019 But that was a rare blemish from the Swiss master aimed at the chair umpire, while Kyrgios is a serial offender who has targeted umpires and fans with greater vitriol. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Larrikin or liability: Is Nick Kyrgios good for tennis?," 5 July 2019 So too were serial efforts by Democrats to cut short Trump’s first term. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Victor Davis Hanson: What could sink Trump’s chances in 2020?," 23 Aug. 2019 Even serial defaulter Argentina sold a 100-year bond in 2017, though those buyers may regret it now. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "The case for a 100-year US government bond," 22 Aug. 2019 The growth, in turn, has allowed the serial inventor to invest in finding even better ways to help people learn languages—and to fund his next project: teaching people how to read. Fortune, "Translating Success at a World-Changing Company," 19 Aug. 2019 Police are asking for help in their search for a serial wedding crasher who attends ceremonies uninvited and allegedly steals gifts intended for the unsuspecting couple. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Police hunt for serial wedding crasher in Texas who steals gifts intended for newlyweds," 18 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In his book Murder in Plain English, Arntfield breaks down the top serial-killer professions, and finds that truckers are joined by police and military personnel, forestry workers, hotel porters, and warehouse managers, among others. Rene Chun, The Atlantic, "Modern Life Has Made It Easier for Serial Killers to Thrive," 10 Sep. 2019 For the Minnesota version, our editor at the time, Walker Lundy, assembled a team of 10 staffers — who quickly decided that the Minnesota State Fair would make the perfect setting for the serial. Larry Millett, Twin Cities, "From the archives: Murder-on-a-stick: A Pioneer Press serial mystery novel (Chapter 1)," 21 Aug. 2019 Hopefully, this reboot will charm audiences in the same way that the first radio serial did back in the 1970s. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Hulu is developing a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV series," 24 July 2019 There are exceptions, like lifelong serial killers. German Lopez, Vox, "Cory Booker has a plan to reform the criminal justice system — without Congress," 20 June 2019 An accused serial bank robber from Missouri is in custody in Alabama, accused of three holdups here and many more outside of the state. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Accused serial bank robber sought in 3 states charged in Homewood holdup, jailed in Montgomery," 23 Aug. 2019 In Los Angeles, there are no big-name serial cases on investigators' radar. James Queally, latimes.com, "From Golden State Killer to Grim Sleeper, DNA helping break serial killer mysteries from 1970s and 1980s," 29 Apr. 2018 There wasn’t a drama, a soap, a serial or a chat show that could do that. Vanita Kohli-khandekar, Quartz India, "How Rupert Murdoch saved KBC from being merely Kaun Banega Lakhpati," 22 July 2019 Thus begins the search for a potential serial rapist. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Toni Collette and Merritt Wever are the new cop duo in Netflix's Unbelievable trailer," 18 July 2019

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

14 Sep 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 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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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

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