Definition of serum in English:


Line breaks: serum
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪərəm

noun (plural sera /-rə/ or serums)

[mass noun]
  • 1An amber-coloured, protein-rich liquid which separates out when blood coagulates: the researchers examined blood serum obtained from 471 heterosexual men and women [count noun]: sera were stored at −20°C until tested
    More example sentences
    • Blood products, sera, sperm, oocytes and embryos are not included.
    • The number of sera from patients whose blood culture grew B. psuedomallei is only 12.
    • Blood samples were then obtained and sera tested for HIV and hepatitis.
  • 2The blood serum of an animal used to provide immunity to a pathogen or toxin by inoculation or as a diagnostic agent: doctors treated the bites of carpet vipers with serum produced from local snakes
    More example sentences
    • He was given a cocktail of vaccines within 10 minutes including anti-plague and anthrax serums.
    • You could be making a fortune out of the drugs, serums and surgical hardware, and yet you have to stand on the sidelines and watch as US drug companies make a killing.


late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'whey'.

More definitions of serum

Definition of serum in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space