Dictionary: SE'RI-ALS – SER'PENT

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SE'RI-ALS, n. [plur.]

Tales or other writings commenced in one number of a periodical work, and continued in successive numbers.

SERIATIM, adv. [Seriatim. L.]

In regular order.

SE-RI'CEOUS, a. [L. sericus, from sericum, silk.]

Pertaining to silk; consisting of silk; silky. In botany, covered with very soft hairs pressed close to the surface sericeous leaf. – Martyn.

SE'RIES, n. [L. This word belongs probably to the Shemitic שר, שור, ישר, the primary sense of which is to stretch or to strain.]

  1. A continued succession of things in the same order, and bearing the same relation to each other; as, a series of kings; a series of successors.
  2. Sequence; order; course; succession of things; as, a series of calamitous events.
  3. In natural history, an order or subdivision of some class of natural bodies. – Encyc.
  4. In arithmetic and algebra, a number of terms in succession, increasing or diminishing in a certain ratio; as, arithmetical series and geometrical series. [See Progression.]

SER'IN, n.

A song bird of Italy and Germany.

SE'RI-OUS, a. [Fr. serieux; Sp. serio; It. serio, serioso; L. serius.]

  1. Grave in manner or disposition; solemn; not light, gay or volatile; as, a serious man; a serious habit or disposition.
  2. Really intending what is said; being in earnest; not jesting or making a false pretense. Are you serious, or in jest?
  3. Important; weighty; not trifling. The holy Scriptures bring to our ears the most serious things in the world. – Young.
  4. Particularly attentive to religious concerns or one's own religious state.

SE'RI-OUS-LY, adv.

Gravely; solemnly; in earnest; without levity. One of the first duties of a rational being is to inquire seriously why he was created, and what he is to do to answer the purpose of his creation.


  1. Gravity of manner or of mind; solemnity. He spoke with great seriousness, or with an air of seriousness.
  2. Earnest attention, particularly to religious concerns. That spirit of religion and seriousness vanished all at once. – Atterbury.


Speech-making. [Not used.] Peacham.


One that makes sermons or speeches. [Not in use.]

SER'MON, n. [Fr. from L. sermo, from the root of sero, the primary sense of which is to throw or thrust. See Assert, Insert.]

A discourse delivered in public by a licensed clergyman for the purpose of religious instruction, and usually grounded on some text or passage of Scripture. Sermons are extemporary addresses, or written discourses. His preaching much, but more his practice wrought, / A living sermon of the truths he taught. – Dryden. 2 A printed discourse.

SERMON, v.i.

To compose or deliver a sermon. [Little used.] – Milton.

SER'MON, v.t.

  1. To discourse as in a sermon. [Little used.]
  2. To tutor; to lesson; to teach. [Little used.] – Shak.


Discourse; instruction; advice. [Not in use.] – Chaucer.


Resembling a sermon.


  1. To preach. – Bp. Nicholson.
  2. To inculcate rigid rules. – Chesterfield.
  3. To make sermons; to compose or write a sermon or sermons. [This is the sense in which this verb is generally used in the United States.]


One that composes sermons.


Preaching; inculcating rigid precepts; composing sermons.


A plant of the genus Laserpitium; laserwert; seseli. – Lee. Johnson.

SE'RON, n.

A buffalo's hide, used for packing drugs and other articles. – Brande.

SE'ROON', n. [Sp. seron, a frail or basket.]

  1. A seroon of almonds is the quantity of two hundred pounds; of anise seed, from three to four hundred weight; of Castile soap, from two hundred and a half to three hundred and three quarters. – Encyc.
  2. A bale or package.

SE-ROS'I-TY, n. [Fr. serosité. See Serum.]

In medicine, the watery part of the blood. – Encyc.


A species of bat.

SE'ROUS, a. [Fr. séreux. See Serum.]

  1. Thin; watery; like whey; used of that part of the blood which separates in coagulation from the grumous or red part.
  2. Pertaining to serum. – Arbuthnot.

SER'PENT, n. [L. serpens, creeping; serpo, to creep. Qu. Gr. ερπω; or from a root in Sr. In Welsh, sarf, a serpent, seems to be from sâr. The Sanscrit has the word sarpa, serpent.]

  1. Ophidian reptiles without feet. Their bodies are extremely elongated, and move by means of the folds they form when in contact with the ground. Their hearts have two auricles. This is the widest use of the term serpent. This term is likewise applied to a family of ophidian reptiles, which comprises all the genera without a sternum, and without any vestige of a shoulder, &c.
  2. In astronomy, a constellation in the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.
  3. An instrument of music, serving as a base to the cornet or small shawm, to sustain a chorus of singers in a large edifice. It is so called from its folds or wreaths. – Encyc.
  4. Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.
  5. In mythology, a symbol of the sun. Serpent stones or snake stones, are fossil shells of different sizes, found in strata of stones and clays. Encyc.