ser·​if | \ˈser-əf \

Definition of serif 

: any of the short lines stemming from and at an angle to the upper and lower ends of the strokes of a letter

Illustration of serif

Illustration of serif

1 serif

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Other Words from serif

serifed or seriffed \ ˈser-​əft \ adjective

Examples of serif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The design features a black sans-serif I, C, and A on a white background. Mark Feeney,, "The ICA is getting a new logo," 31 May 2018 Soon enough, words took over and became entire pictures, including perhaps the best known: Oof, a trilogy of sans-serif block letters in cadmium yellow against cobalt and Bellini blue. Mark Rozzo, Vanities, "Ed Ruscha Still Has Plenty More to Say About America," 30 May 2018 Entireworld markets an androgynous-leaning set of bright pastel t-shirts, striped socks, and $95 monochromatic button-downs on a website that resembles an early Apple ad, down to the stiff serif logo. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "How Tech Is Remaking Fashion in Its Image," 9 May 2018 The Obama campaign's logo, color scheme, and sans-serif font have inspired political design ever since. Hunter Schwarz, CNN, "The quest to build a million Obamas," 6 May 2018 In 2015, with computers firmly entrenched in our lives, Google updated its logo to feature a more modern-looking sans-serif font and a single-story g. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The ‘g’ in Google’s Old Logo Is Really Weird," 9 Apr. 2018 Stuffy wall texts have been replaced by short panels in a zippy sans-serif typeface, part of a larger rebranding by Sagmeister & Walsh. Jason Farago, New York Times, "A Museum’s Fresh Take on the Whole Megillah," 25 Jan. 2018 Script fonts work just as nicely and don't give off that same wannabe feel, while incorporating a serif font that feels strong and chic contrasts well with more artful, romantic and hand-crafted stationery suites. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 10 Wedding Trends That We Hope Not to See in 2018," 18 Jan. 2018 Makeover Strategy Katie's new resume was built using an aesthetically pleasing design, a serif font for ease of readability, and strategic prioritization of content to make sure only Katie's recent HR experience would land on page one of her resume. Samantha Nolan,, "May Makeover Series: Make the most of your first impression," 20 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serif.' 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 serif

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for serif

probably from Dutch schreef stroke, line, from Middle Dutch, from schriven to write, from Latin scribere — more at scribe

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Statistics for serif

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Time Traveler for serif

The first known use of serif was in 1841

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More Definitions for serif



English Language Learners Definition of serif

: one of the short lines near the top and bottom of the long parts of some printed letters

More from Merriam-Webster on serif

See words that rhyme with serif Encyclopedia article about serif

Comments on serif

What made you want to look up serif? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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