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90s Slang You Should Know


or sear

[seer] /sɪər/
dry; withered.
Origin of sere1
before 900; Middle English seer(e), Old English sēar; see sear1
arid, parched, desiccated, wizened.


[seer] /sɪər/
the series of stages in an ecological succession.
First recorded in 1915-20; back formation from series Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sere
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is no winter interval or sleep for the vegetation, no period of the sere and yellow leaf, as with us in the colder north.

    The Pearl of India Maturin M. Ballou
  • The skies they were ashen and sober, and the leaves they were crisped and sere.

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • But it is a rare tree that will bear transplanting in the sere and yellow leaf of advanced age.

  • There is no sere and yellow leaf here—fruits and flowers are perennial.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • The millions that around us are rushing into life, cannot always be fed on the sere remains of foreign harvests.

  • The dead grass and the dead leaves made a sere, yellow world.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • I wanted you to see them at their best; they are just turning now, and in another week, I fear, will be faded and sere.

    Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle Clement K. Shorter
British Dictionary definitions for sere


(archaic) dried up or withered
verb, noun
a rare spelling of sear1 (sense 1)
Word Origin
Old English sēar; see sear1


the series of changes occurring in the ecological succession of a particular community
Word Origin
C20: from series
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sere

Old English sear "dried up, withered, barren," from Proto-Germanic *sauzas (cf. Middle Low German sor, Dutch zoor), from PIE root *saus- "dry" (cf. Sanskrit susyati "dries, withers;" Old Persian uška- "dry" (adj.), "land" (n.); Avestan huška- "dry;" Latin sudus "dry"). A good word now relegated to bad poetry. Related to sear. Sere month was an old name for "August."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sere in Science
The entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax community. See more at succession.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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