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1consisting of, forming part of, or taking place in a series:a serial publication Music using transformations of a fixed series of notes. Computing (of a device) involving the transfer of data as a single sequence of bits. See also serial port. Computing (of a processor) running only a single task, as opposed to multitasking. Linguistics (of verbs) used in sequence to form a construction, as in they wanted, needed, longed for peace. 2 [attributive] (of a criminal) repeatedly committing the same offense and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern:a suspected serial rapist repeatedly following the same behavior pattern:he was a serial adulterer serial monogamy
a story or play appearing in regular installments on television or radio or in a magazine or newspaper:a new three-part drama serial
) (in a library) a periodical.
Do not confuse serial
. See cereal.