Definition of serial in English:

serial

Syllabification: se·ri·al
Pronunciation: /ˈsirēəl
 
/

adjective

1Consisting of, forming part of, or taking place in a series: a serial publication
More example sentences
  • The journal begins serial publication this spring.
  • Primary outputs are defined as publications in the serial peer reviewed literature, while the secondary outputs are taken to be evidence based clinical guidelines.
  • It does not hold annual meetings or sponsor a serial publication.
1.1 Music Using transformations of a fixed series of notes.
More example sentences
  • He also for a brief time came under the influence of Schoenberg and wrote serial music, all of which (if I remember right) he destroyed.
  • For example, forty years ago, not composing serial music meant not being a composer at all, and this was a clear tendency openly registered in books, articles and papers.
  • Powers's music from the 1980s deploys a considered synthesis of serial, atonal and tonal techniques.
1.2 Computing (Of a device) involving the transfer of data as a single sequence of bits. See also serial port.
More example sentences
  • The controller can concurrently perform the data transfer to and/or from the parallel and serial devices.
  • It is even possible to add servers with a click of a mouse while supporting BIOS-level control of almost any number of servers or serial devices.
  • You will see a list of serial devices; note that some will be built-in on your motherboard.
1.3 Computing (Of a processor) running only a single task, as opposed to multitasking.
More example sentences
  • A serial processor executes each iteration through the loop, doing all the work.
  • Besides, all neural networks at the moment are simulations that are written in software of an essentially serial nature which runs on serial processors.
  • If it won't run on serial processors, then where is the parallel machine that it will run on?
1.4 Linguistics (Of verbs) used in sequence to form a construction, as in they wanted, needed, longed for peace.
More example sentences
  • Similarly, in the Pacific, it has been suggested that there may be Austronesian substratum influence in the serial constructions found in Tok Pisin.
2 [attributive] (Of a criminal) repeatedly committing the same offense and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern: a suspected serial rapist
More example sentences
  • By throwing an odd assortment of characters into the path of a home-grown serial killer, the film is able to achieve a dramatic density sadly absent from the genre for a number of years.
  • So he may just be able to track down a serial killer with a penchant for committing perfect murders.
  • These guys all follow set patterns and, like any good movie serial killer, they're too open and flamboyant in their actions.
2.1Repeatedly following the same behavior pattern: he was a serial adulterer serial monogamy
More example sentences
  • Despite the family image, a book of revelations published by a former chauffeur has painted Chirac as a serial adulterer.
  • He gives orders for other human beings to be blown away and he is a serial adulterer, but his power has unexpected limits.
  • He was also a serial adulterer, regularly confessing his sins before committing them afresh.

noun

Back to top  
1A story or play appearing in regular installments on television or radio or in a periodical: a new three-part drama serial
More example sentences
  • Each story in the serial would last a week, being spread over 5 weekday episodes.
  • The success of this venture as a magazine serial preceding the book, has the writer planning a sequel.
  • Fox is quite a rarity on television, as it is unusual for a serial of the time and of such length to have one author and one director.
1.1 (usually serials) (In a library) a periodical.
More example sentences
  • Hopper also told the senate that there has been about a 25 percent decline in the number of serials purchased by the library in the past five years.
  • So when we built the Library at SLAC, we put the serials on punch cards.
  • She became a regular columnist for the Associated Negro Press and contributed poetry and reviews to numerous serials and collections.

Origin

mid 19th century: from series + -al, perhaps suggested by French sérial.

Derivatives

seriality

Pronunciation: /ˌsi(ə)rēˈalitē/
noun
More example sentences
  • The postcard can be thought of as an ambivalent object, produced between spatial and temporal locations, between seriality and personalization.
  • Not only does their very seriality suggest a relentless stream of crime, but the programmes themselves are organised around the repetitive replay of similar footage.
  • She has developed a means by which to make chance contend with narrative; lyricism with cacophony and seriality.

serially

adverb
More example sentences
  • We can conclude that the course of the play is so arranged that the significance of characters, their appearance, the progress of the scenes are all arranged serially.
  • Because average life expectancy was only 21 years, most elders had several spouses - but serially.
  • Faithful to her code, Lily is serially monogamous: she dumps each man after a newer, bigger fish swims into view.

Definition of serial in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ween
Pronunciation: wiːn
verb
be of the opinion; think or suppose