also sanserif, 1830, from French sans "without" (see sans) + English serif, from earlier ceref, perhaps from Dutch and Flemish schreef "a line, a stroke," related to schrijven "to write," from Latin scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). OED finds the Dutch and Flemish word "fairly suits the sense and form; but historical evidence is wanting, and the quasi-French form of sans-ceriph is not accounted for." 

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