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Origin of serried

First recorded in 1660–70; serry + -ed2
Related formsser·ried·ly, adverbser·ried·ness, nounun·ser·ried, adjective


verb (used with or without object), ser·ried, ser·ry·ing. Archaic.
  1. to crowd closely together.

Origin of serry

1575–85; < Middle French serré, past participle of serrer to press tightly together; see sear2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for serried

Historical Examples of serried

  • A thousand serried problems seemed to be pressing on me at once.

    Women's Wild Oats

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • And how he thundered "Blaze with your serried columns, I will not bend the knee!"

  • They stood there looking down between the serried lines of trees.

  • Swiftly, surely, their serried ranks were closing in on the Christian band.

    With Spurs of Gold

    Frances Nimmo Greene

  • The Levitic officers were to protect the king's person with serried ranks.

British Dictionary definitions for serried


  1. in close or compact formationserried ranks of troops

Word Origin for serried

C17: from Old French serré close-packed, from serrer to shut up; see sear ²
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 serried

"pressed close together," 1667 (in "Paradise Lost"), probably a past participle adjective from serry "to press close together" (1580s), a military term, from Middle French serre "close, compact" (12c.), past participle of serrer "press close, fasten," from Vulgar Latin *serrare "to bolt, lock up," from Latin serare, from sera "a bolt, bar, cross-bar," perhaps from PIE *ser- (3) "to line up" (see series). Modern use is due to the popularity of Scott, who used it with phalanx.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper