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ser·​rate ˈser-ˌāt How to pronounce serrate (audio)
: notched or toothed on the edge
specifically : having marginal teeth pointing forward or toward the apex
a serrate leaf


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ser·​rate sə-ˈrāt How to pronounce serrate (audio)
serrated; serrating

transitive verb

: to mark or make with serrations
a serrated knife

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The edges of each leaflet may be smooth or have a few coarse notches but are not serrated. Mike Hogan, The Enquirer, 28 May 2023 Two of these are serrated for slicing through the victim’s skin. John Sass, Field & Stream, 11 Apr. 2023 The result is smooth, not serrated; if Bausch was hinting at human folly and extinction, it is lost in interpretation. Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Your Questions, Answered Should steak knives be serrated? Brittany Vanderbill, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Feb. 2023 The knife is serrated using big and small waves. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2023 To make a sharp tool such as the Kanjera stone, a hominin would use a hammer stone to serrate the new tool, creating sharp edges capable of cutting different materials, from animal flesh to vegetation to wood. Kovie Biakolo, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 July 2022 But above them, disembodied in the haze, hovered the Garhwal Himalayas, part of the central Himalayan mountains, which serrate the borderlands of northern India before crashing into Nepal’s yet higher massifs immediately to the east. Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2020 Beginning in 2015, the hip-hop emerging from SoundCloud — which imported punchiness from pop-punk and emo, and incorporated both rapping and singing — was emotionally serrated, but also sneakily melodic. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 9 Dec. 2019 See More

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

Word History



Latin serratus, from serra saw


Late Latin serratus, past participle of serrare to saw, from Latin serra

First Known Use


1668, in the meaning defined above


1750, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of serrate was in 1668

Dictionary Entries Near serrate

Cite this Entry

“Serrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: having a saw-toothed edge
a serrate leaf
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