from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fine line finishing off the main strokes of a letter, as at the top and bottom of M.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short line added to the tops and bottoms of traditional typefaces, such as Times Roman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The short cross-line put as a finish at the ends of the terminating or unconnected strokes of roman or italic types, as in H, l, d, and y.
  • n. it is long, flat, and slender; in the Scotch-face it is curved like a bracket on the inner side. See sans-serif.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short line at the end of the main strokes of a character


Perhaps from Dutch schreef, line, from Middle Dutch scrēve, from scriven, to write, from Latin scrībere; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • Serifs 'finish off' their letters, making them more comfortable to read. Besides, they are characters with character.

    September 10, 2010

  • Fires in reverse.

    July 22, 2007