Etymology
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penultimate (adj.)

"next to the last, immediately proceeding that member of a series which is the last," 1670s, from penultima (n.) on model of proximate. Earlier was penultim (mid-15c.), from Old French penultime.

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ancestry (n.)
"series or line of ancestors, descent from ancestors," early 14c., auncestrie, from Old French ancesserie "ancestry, ancestors, forefathers," from ancestre (see ancestor); spelling modified in English by influence of ancestor.
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serial (adj.)

"arranged or disposed in a rank or row; forming part of a series; coming in regular succession," 1840, from series + -al (1). French sérial also seems to originate around 1840. Popularized in English in reference to Dickens' novels, which were first published over time in periodicals (as opposed to all at once in a book). The word was found to be useful to English and from the 1850s it was 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.

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bone (v.2)
especially in bone up "study," 1880s student slang, probably from "Bohn's Classical Library," a popular series in higher education published by German-born English publisher Henry George Bohn (1796-1884) as part of a broad series of "libraries" he issued from 1846, totaling 766 volumes, continued after 1864 by G. Bell & Sons. The other guess is that it is an allusion to knuckle-bones and has the same figurative sense as the verbal phrase knuckle down "get to work."
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nexus (n.)

1660s, "bond, link, interdependence between members of a series or group; means of communication," from Latin nexus "that which ties or binds together," past participle of nectere "to bind," from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie."

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cinematography (n.)

1896, with  -y (4) + cinematograph "device for projecting a series of photographs in rapid succession so as to produce the illusion of movement" (1896), which has been displaced in English by its shortened form, cinema (q.v.). Related: Cinematographic.

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percentile (n.)

in statistics, "each of a series of values obtained by dividing a large number of quantities into 100 equal groups in order of magnitude," 1885, coined by English scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) from percent + -ile.

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discontinuation (n.)

"interruption of continuity, separation of parts which form a connected series," 1610s, from French discontinuation (14c.), from Medieval Latin discontinuationem (nominative discontinuatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of discontinuare (see discontinue (v.)).

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Paleozoic (adj.)

in reference to the geological era between the Precambrian and the Mesozoic, a geological series characterized by the earliest record of modern life forms, 1838, coined by Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) from paleo- "ancient" + Greek zoe "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + -ic.

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octane (n.)

hydrocarbon of the methane series, 1872, coined from oct- "eight" (see octa-) + -ane; so called because it has eight carbon atoms. A fuel's octane rating, in reference to its anti-knocking quality, is attested from 1932.

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