ser·​if ˈser-əf How to pronounce serif (audio)
: any of the short lines stemming from and at an angle to the upper and lower ends of the strokes of a letter
serifed adjective
or seriffed

Illustration of serif

Illustration of serif
  • 1 serif

Examples of serif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Koh and Laredo reunited onstage for Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, which showcased each musician’s singular voice: Laredo, in particular, loves to finish his grainy lines with folksy serifs. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 Even the font spelling out the product name is minimalist, with not a serif in sight. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 22 Dec. 2023 Its glossy website and physical paper are emblazoned with its name in serif font, and wire service articles sit beside Epoch Times originals. Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News, 13 Oct. 2023 Having serifs or not is further down the list of importance. Curbed, 20 Jan. 2023 In the study, the font people read fastest, on average, was Garamond — a serif font. Leslie Shapiro, Washington Post, 26 June 2023 The traditional serif font and vine motif lend a luxurious feel, and the doormat is hand-hooked with polyester and acrylic yarns that appear similar to a standard indoor rug. Amanda Constantine, Good Housekeeping, 21 June 2023 The middle serif was removed while the left serif’s italics were lessened. Dallas News, 7 Nov. 2022 The summit’s branding stretched across the screen behind her, all groovy lines and fat serif fonts in mustard, mauve and sienna. Kara Voght, Washington Post, 15 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'serif.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of serif was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near serif

Cite this Entry

“Serif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ser·​if ˈser-əf How to pronounce serif (audio)
: any of the short lines crossing the upper and lower ends of the strokes of a printed letter

More from Merriam-Webster on serif

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