• synonyms


or sear

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  1. dry; withered.
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Origin of sere1

before 900; Middle English seer(e), Old English sēar; see sear1


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arid, parched, desiccated, wizened.


  1. the series of stages in an ecological succession.
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Origin of sere2

First recorded in 1915–20; back formation from series
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

arid, dried, dry, parched, sear, droughty, shriveled, waterless

Examples from the Web for sere

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

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

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • The skies they were ashen and sober, and the leaves they were crisped and sere.

    The Martian

    George Du Maurier

  • It was an old, old hunting-coat, far gone in the sere and yellow leaf.

  • Many leaves were yet left on the boughs; but they were sere and withered.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square

    Melville Davisson Post

British Dictionary definitions for sere



  1. archaic dried up or withered
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verb, noun
  1. a rare spelling of sear 1 (def. 1)
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Word Origin

Old English sēar; see sear 1


  1. the series of changes occurring in the ecological succession of a particular community
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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

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sere in Science


  1. The entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax community. See more at succession.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.