Etymology
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serial (adj.)

"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.)

1846, from serial (adj.).

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Definitions of serial
1
serial (adj.)
of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations;
serial processing
Synonyms: in series / nonparallel
serial (adj.)
in regular succession without gaps;
serial concerts
serial (adj.)
pertaining to or composed in serial technique;
serial music
serial (adj.)
pertaining to or occurring in or producing a series;
a serial killer
serial publication
serial killing
serial monogamy
2
serial (n.)
a serialized set of programs;
Synonyms: series
serial (n.)
a periodical that appears at scheduled times;
Synonyms: series / serial publication
From wordnet.princeton.edu