sequent (adj.) Look up sequent at Dictionary.com
1550s, "following," from Old French sequent "following, subsequent," from Latin sequentem (nominative sequens) "next, following," present participle of sequi "to follow" (see sequel). As a noun from 1580s.
sequential (adj.) Look up sequential at Dictionary.com
1816, from Late Latin sequentia (see sequence) + -al (1). Related: Sequentially.
sequester (v.) Look up sequester at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "remove" something, "quarantine, isolate" (someone); "excommunicate;" also intransitive, "separate oneself from," from Old French sequestrer (14c.), from Late Latin sequestrare "to place in safekeeping," from Latin sequester "trustee, mediator," noun use of an adjective meaning "intermediate," which probably is related to sequi "to follow" (see sequel). Meaning "seize by authority, confiscate" is first attested 1510s. Alternative sequestrate (v.) is early 15c., from Latin sequestratus. Related: Sequestered; sequestering.
sequestration (n.) Look up sequestration at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from Late Latin sequestrationem (nominative sequestratio) "a depositing," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin sequestrare (see sequester).
sequin (n.) Look up sequin at Dictionary.com
1610s, name of a former Italian and Turkish gold coin, from French sequin (17c.), from Italian zecchino, name of a Venetian coin, from zecca "a mint," from Arabic sikkah "a minting die." Meaning "ornamental disc or spangle" is first recorded 1882, from resemblance to a gold coin. Related: Sequined (1890).
sequitur Look up sequitur at Dictionary.com
Latin, literally "it follows."
sequoia (n.) Look up sequoia at Dictionary.com
large American coniferous tree, 1857, from Modern Latin tree genus name given 1847 by Austrian botanist Stephan Endlicher (1804-1849), originally to a different tree, the coast redwood, apparently in honor of Sequoya (a.k.a. George Guess, 1760-1843), Cherokee man who invented a system of writing for his people's language, whose name is from Cherokee (Iroquoian) Sikwayi, a word of unknown etymology.

Endlicher was a specialist in conifers, and he also was a philologist. But he never gave an etymology of this name and a search of his papers discovered no mention of Sequoya or the Cherokee writing system, and the connection is an assumption that some botanists have challenged, though no better candidate for a source has yet been found.

The giant sequoia was unseen by Europeans until 1833 and unknown to scientists until 1852. In May 1855, a pair of American botanists named it Taxodium giganteum, but that name was deemed inappropriate for several scientific reasons. Meanwhile, English botanist John Lindley, who had never been to California, in 1853 named it Wellingtonia in honor of the Duke of Wellington. "As high as Wellington towers above his contemporaries, as high towers this California tree above the forest surrounding it. Therefore, it shall bear for all time to come the name Wellingtonia gigantea." This sat poorly with the Americans, and much ink was spilled until a French botanist provided the solution by transferring Endlicher's name. In Britain still popularly called Wellingtonia.
seraglio (n.) Look up seraglio at Dictionary.com
"harem," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, 1580s, from Italian seraglio, alteration of Turkish saray "palace, court," from Persian sara'i "palace, inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (cognates: Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"), from PIE *tra-, variant form of root *tere- (2) "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (see through).

The Italian word probably reflects folk etymology influence of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from Medieval Latin serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried).
serape (n.) Look up serape at Dictionary.com
also sarape, type of shawl for men, 1834, from Mexican Spanish sarape, probably from Nahuatl, but exact source difficult to identify source because there is no -r- sound in Nahuatl.
seraph (n.) Look up seraph at Dictionary.com
1667, first used by Milton (probably on analogy of cherub/cherubim), back-formed singular from Old English seraphim (plural), from Late Latin seraphim, from Greek seraphim, from Hebrew seraphim (only in Isa. vi), plural of *saraph (which does not occur in the Bible), probably literally "the burning one," from saraph "it burned." Seraphs were traditionally regarded as burning or flaming angels, though the word seems to have some etymological sense of "flying," perhaps from confusion with the root of Arabic sharafa "be lofty." Some scholars identify it with a word found in other passages interpreted as "fiery flying serpent."
seraphic (adj.) Look up seraphic at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Church Latin seraphicus, from seraphim (see seraph). Related: Seraphical (1560s).
Serapis Look up Serapis at Dictionary.com
god of the lower world, from Latin, from Greek Serapis, earlier Sarapis, from Egyptian User-hapi, literally "Osiris-Apis."
Serb (n.) Look up Serb at Dictionary.com
1813, but in reference to the Wends; 1861 as "native of Serbia," from Serbian Srb, perhaps from a root meaning "man." Serbian is attested from 1848 as a noun, 1876 as an adjective. More common in 19c. was Servian.
Serbian (adj.) Look up Serbian at Dictionary.com
1833, from Serb + -ian. As a noun from 1848.
Serbo- Look up Serbo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "Serbian, Serbian and," from Latinized comb. form of Serb.
sere (adj.) Look up sere at Dictionary.com
Old English sear "dried up, withered, barren," from Proto-Germanic *sauzas (cognates: Middle Low German sor, Dutch zoor), from PIE root *saus- "dry" (cognates: Sanskrit susyati "dries, withers;" Old Persian uška- "dry" (adj.), "land" (n.); Avestan huška- "dry;" Latin sudus "dry"). A good word now relegated to bad poetry. Related to sear. Sere month was an old name for "August."
Serena Look up Serena at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Latin serena, fem. of serenus "clear, bright, fair, joyous" (see serene).
serenade (n.) Look up serenade at Dictionary.com
1640s, "musical performance at night in open air" (especially one given by a lover under the window of his lady), from French sérénade (16c.), from Italian serenata "an evening song," literally "calm sky," from sereno "the open air," noun use of sereno "clear, calm," from Latin serenus "peaceful, calm, serene." Sense influenced by Italian sera "evening," from Latin sera, fem. of serus "late." Meaning "piece of music suitable for a serenade" is attested from 1728.
serenade (v.) Look up serenade at Dictionary.com
1660s, from serenade (n.). Related: Serenaded; serenading.
serendipitous (adj.) Look up serendipitous at Dictionary.com
1914; see serendipity + -ous. Related: Serendipitously.
serendipity (n.) Look up serendipity at Dictionary.com
1754 (but rare before 20c.), coined by Horace Walpole (1717-92) in a letter to Horace Mann (dated Jan. 28); he said he formed it from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip," whose heroes "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." The name is from Serendip, an old name for Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), from Arabic Sarandib, from Sanskrit Simhaladvipa "Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island."
serene (adj.) Look up serene at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "clear, calm," from Latin serenus "peaceful, calm, clear" (of weather), figuratively "cheerful, glad, tranquil," of uncertain origin; perhaps from a suffixed variant of PIE *ksero- "dry," source of Greek xeros "dry" (see xerasia). In English, applied to persons since 1630s. Related: Serenely.
serenity (n.) Look up serenity at Dictionary.com
1530s, of weather, 1590s, of persons, from Middle French sérénité, from Latin serenitatem (nominative serenitas) "clearness, serenity," from serenus (see serene). Earliest use (mid-15c.) was as a title of honor for kings, probably from the similar use of Latin serenitas, applied to Roman emperors, later popes.
serf (n.) Look up serf at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "servant, serving-man, slave," from Old French serf "vassal, servant, slave" (12c.), from Latin servum (nominative servus) "slave" (see serve). Fallen from use in original sense by 18c. Meaning "lowest class of cultivators of the soil in continental European countries" is from 1610s. Use by modern writers with reference to medieval Europeans first recorded 1761 (contemporary Anglo-Latin records used nativus, villanus, or servus).
serfdom (n.) Look up serfdom at Dictionary.com
1850, from serf + -dom. Earlier in the same sense was serfage (1775).
serge (n.) Look up serge at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French serge (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *sarica, in Medieval Latin "cloth of wool mixed with silk or linen," from Latin serica (vestis) "silken (garment)," from serica, from Greek serike, fem. of serikos "silken" (see silk). The French word is the source of German sarsche, Danish sarge, etc.
sergeant (n.) Look up sergeant at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "servant," from Old French sergent, serjant "(domestic) servant, valet; court official; soldier," from Medieval Latin servientum (nominative serviens) "servant, vassal, soldier" (in Late Latin "public official"), from Latin servientem "serving," present participle of servire "to serve" (see serve (v.)); cognate with Spanish sirviente, Italian servente; a twin of servant, and 16c. writers sometimes use the two words interchangeably.

Specific sense of "military servant" is attested from late 13c.; that of "officer whose duty is to enforce judgments of a tribunal or legislative body" is from c.1300 (sergeant at arms is attested from late 14c.). Meaning "non-commissioned military officer" first recorded 1540s. Originally a much more important rank than presently. As a police rank, in Great Britain from 1839.

Middle English alternative spelling serjeant (from Old French) was retained in Britain in special use as title of a superior order of barristers (c.1300, from legal Latin serviens ad legem, "one who serves (the king) in matters of law"), from which Common Law judges were chosen; also used of certain other officers of the royal household. sergeant-major is from 1570s. The sergeant-fish (1871) so-called for lateral markings resembling a sergeant's stripes. Related: Sergeancy.
Sergius Look up Sergius at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Latin, of Etruscan origin.
serial (adj.) Look up serial at Dictionary.com
"coming in regular succession," 1840, from series + -al (1); popularized in reference to Dickens' novels, published one part at a time in periodicals (as opposed to all at once in a book). Found to be a useful word and given wide application. Serial number, indicating position in a series, first recorded 1866, originally of papers, packages, etc.; of soldiers from 1918. Serial killer is first attested 1981 (in relation to John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy), though serial had been used in connection with murders since the early 1960s. Related: Serially.
serial (n.) Look up serial at Dictionary.com
1846, from serial (adj.).
serialization (n.) Look up serialization at Dictionary.com
1856, noun of action from serialize.
serialize (v.) Look up serialize at Dictionary.com
1852 (implied in serialized), from serial + -ize. Related: Serializing.
seriatim Look up seriatim at Dictionary.com
1670s (earlier seratim, c.1500), "one after another," from Medieval Latin seriatim, from Latin series (see series).
seriation (n.) Look up seriation at Dictionary.com
"the forming of an orderly sequence," 1650s; see series + -ation.
sericulture (n.) Look up sericulture at Dictionary.com
"breeding, rearing and treatment of silkworms, 1839, from French sériciculture (19c.), from Latin sericum (nominative serica) "silk" (see serge) + cultura (see culture (n.)).
series (n.) Look up series at Dictionary.com
1610s, "a number or set of things of one kind arranged in a line," from Latin series "row, chain, series, sequence, succession," from serere "to join, link, bind together, arrange, attach, put; join in speech, discuss," from PIE root *ser- (3) "to line up, join" (cognates: Sanskrit sarat- "thread," Greek eirein "to fasten together in rows," Gothic sarwa (plural) "armor, arms," Old Norse sörve "necklace of stringed pearls," Old Irish sernaid "he joins together," Welsh ystret "row").

Meaning "set of printed works published consecutively" is from 1711. Meaning "set of radio or television programs with the same characters and themes" is attested from 1949. Baseball sense "set of games on consecutive days between the same teams" is from 1862.
serif (n.) Look up serif at Dictionary.com
in typography, 1841, earlier ceref (1827); see sans-serif.
serine (n.) Look up serine at Dictionary.com
type of amino acid, 1880, from German serin (1865), from Latin sericum "silk" (see serge), with chemical suffix -ine (2).
seriocomic (adj.) Look up seriocomic at Dictionary.com
also serio-comic, 1749 (implied in seriocomical), a blend of serious + comic.
serious (adj.) Look up serious at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "expressing earnest purpose or thought" (of persons), from Middle French sérieux "grave, earnest" (14c.), from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius "weighty, important, grave," probably from a PIE root *swer- (4) "heavy" (cognates: Lithuanian sveriu "to weigh, lift," svarus "heavy;" Old English swære "heavy," German schwer "heavy," Gothic swers "honored, esteemed," literally "weighty"). As opposite of jesting, from 1712; as opposite of light (of music, theater, etc.), from 1762. Meaning "attended with danger" is from 1800.
seriously (adv.) Look up seriously at Dictionary.com
c.1500, from serious + -ly (2). To take (something) seriously is from 1782.
seriousness (n.) Look up seriousness at Dictionary.com
1520s, from serious + -ness.
sermocination (n.) Look up sermocination at Dictionary.com
1510s, "a talk," from Latin sermonationem (nominative sermonatio), noun of action from past participle stem of sermonari "talk, discourse, harangue," from sermo (see sermon). From 1753 in rhetoric, "a form of prosopopoeia in which the speaker, having addressed a real or imaginary hearer with a remark or especially a question, immediately answers for the hearer." Related: Sermocinator, agent noun; sermocinatrix "a female talker" (1620s).
sermon (n.) Look up sermon at Dictionary.com
c.1200, sarmun, "a discourse upon a text of scripture; what is preached," from Anglo-French sermun, Old French sermon "speech, words, discourse; church sermon, homily" (10c.), from Latin sermonem (nominative sermo) "continued speech, conversation; common talk, rumor; learned talk, discourse; manner of speaking, literary style," originally "a stringing together of words," from PIE *ser-mo-, suffixed form of root *ser- (3) "to line up, join" (see series).

Main modern sense in English and French is elliptical for Latin sermo religiosus. In transferred (non-religious) use from 1590s. The Sermon on the Mount is in 5,6,7 Matt. and 6 Luke. Related: Sermonic; sermonical; sermonish.
sermonette (n.) Look up sermonette at Dictionary.com
1814, diminutive from sermon + -ette. Poe used sermonoid (1849); sermuncle (1886) also has been tried. English writers have turned to the Italian double diminutive sermonettino (1818) to describe notably trifling efforts.
sermonize (v.) Look up sermonize at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Medieval Latin sermonizari, from Latin sermo (see sermon). "Chiefly depreciatory" [OED]. Related: Sermonizing.
serology (n.) Look up serology at Dictionary.com
1907, from sero-, comb. form of serum, + -ology. Related: Serological; serologist.
serotine (adj.) Look up serotine at Dictionary.com
"late," 1590s, from French sérotine, from Latin serotinus "that which comes late; that which happens in the evening," from sero, adverb of serus "late" (see soiree). Also as a noun, a type of small, brown bat, from 1771. Related: serotinous, in botany (1880) "appearing later in the season than usual."
serotonin (n.) Look up serotonin at Dictionary.com
neurotransmitting chemical, 1948, coined from sero-, comb. form of serum (q.v.) + ton(ic) + chemical suffix -in (2).
serous (adj.) Look up serous at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "watery," later "of or pertaining to serum" (16c.), from French séreux (16c.) and directly from Latin serosus, from serum "watery fluid, whey" (see serum). Related: Serosity.