[seer-ee-uh l]


anything published, broadcast, etc., in short installments at regular intervals, as a novel appearing in successive issues of a magazine.
Library Science. a publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designation and intended to be continued indefinitely.


Nearby words

  1. sergius iii,
  2. sergius iv,
  3. sergiyev posad,
  4. sergt,
  5. seri,
  6. serial correlation,
  7. serial extraction,
  8. serial killer,
  9. serial monogamy,
  10. serial number

Origin of serial

From the New Latin word seriālis, dating back to 1835–45. See series, -al1

Related formsse·ri·al·ly, adverbnon·se·ri·al, noun, adjectivenon·se·ri·al·ly, adverb

Can be confusedcereal serial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for serial

British Dictionary definitions for serial



a novel, play, etc, presented in separate instalments at regular intervals
a publication, usually regularly issued and consecutively numbered


of, relating to, or resembling a series
published or presented as a serial
of or relating to such publication or presentation
computing of or operating on items of information, instructions, etc, in the order in which they occurCompare parallel (def. 5)
of, relating to, or using the techniques of serialism
logic maths (of a relation) connected, transitive, and asymmetric, thereby imposing an order on all the members of the domain, as less than on the natural numbersSee also ordering
Derived Formsserially, adverb

Word Origin for serial

C19: from New Latin seriālis, from Latin seriēs 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 serial
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper