from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, forming, or arranged in a series.
  • adj. Published or produced in installments, as a novel or television drama.
  • adj. Relating to such publication or production.
  • adj. Responsible for a series of usually criminal acts over a period of time: a serial arsonist.
  • adj. Music Relating to or based on a row of tones, especially the 12 pitches of the chromatic scale.
  • adj. Computer Science Of or relating to the sequential transmission of all the bits of a byte over one wire: a serial port; a serial printer.
  • adj. Computer Science Of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations: serial processing.
  • n. A literary or dramatic work published or produced in installments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having to do with or arranged in a series.
  • adj. Published or produced in installments.
  • n. A work, as a work of fiction, published in installments, often numbered and without a specified end.
  • n. A serial number required to activate software.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a series; consisting of a series; appearing in successive parts or numbers.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to rows.
  • n. A publication appearing in a series or succession of part; a tale, or other writing, published in successive numbers of a periodical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Arranged or disposed in a series, rank, or row, as several like things set one after another; placed seriatim; successive, as beads on a string. Also seriate.
  • Characterized by or exhibiting serial arrangement; having the nature or quality of a series; of or pertaining to series: as, serial homology (see homology).
  • Published at regularly recurring or successive times; periodical, as a publication; pertaining to a serial.
  • n. A tale or other composition published in successive numbers of a periodical.
  • n. A work or publication issued in successive numbers; a periodical.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a periodical that appears at scheduled times
  • adj. pertaining to or composed in serial technique
  • adj. in regular succession without gaps
  • n. a serialized set of programs
  • adj. of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations
  • adj. pertaining to or occurring in or producing a series


1840,[2] in reference to the books of Charles Dickens (published in sequential parts, as a series). Formed as series +‎ -al, on model of Latin seriālis, from seriēs + -ālis. (Wiktionary)


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  • Langton disliked using the term serial killer and mentioned it only once, but during the questioning the journalists were quick to bring up the Ripper murder case.

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  • If the term serial entrepreneur suggests something a bit sinister, it's not without good reason-one does have to be a little crazy to start two, three, or as many as seven companies.

  • The young pit bull, named "Dex" after the title serial killer on Showtime's "Dexter," had

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  • During the press conference the investigative team admitted that a single person may be responsible for the serial murders but, they were careful not to use the term serial killer.


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