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

Crisp photography, sans-serif fonts, and pastel colors. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The rise of the direct-to-consumer home," 21 Dec. 2018 The new logo features a sleek and streamlined bold sans-serif text in all caps. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riccardo Tisci Reveals New Burberry Logo and Monogram," 2 Aug. 2018 Formatting section In the Font section under Formatting, select a large serif font like Bookman Old Style. Jd Sartain, PCWorld, "How to create and share custom Style Sheets in Word and PowerPoint," 8 Aug. 2018 The logo replaces an all-caps, serif style created in 1999 with a sans-serif, bold text. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Riccardo Tisci Rebrands Burberry With a New Peter Saville Logo," 2 Aug. 2018 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

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

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


a complex dispute or argument

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