Difference Wiki

Serial vs. Series: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 21, 2023
Serial refers to a format where a story is presented in sequential, regular installments, while a series is a set of similar or related items arranged or occurring in order.

Key Differences

Serial and Series, although seemingly similar, have distinctive meanings. A serial typically refers to a story or play appearing regularly over a period of time. It has a continual narrative, unfolding episode by episode. Conversely, a series is a collection of related but individual items or events occurring in sequence, like a television series where each episode has its own storyline but under a common theme or characters.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
A serial is often characterized by its sequential and periodic nature, the storyline progresses in each installment, maintaining a continuous thread. In contrast, a series can consist of independent, standalone elements grouped together because they share a common theme, genre, or other characteristics, such as a series of books featuring the same protagonist in different adventures.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
Delving deeper, a serial is usually published or broadcasted in regular intervals, maintaining continuity in the story. This format keeps the audience engaged over a period of time as they anticipate subsequent parts. A series, while also occurring in a sequence, often allows the consumer to experience each part independently without losing the essence, like a series of lectures or workshops on a common subject.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
The essence of serial lies in continuity and progression, each part is a continuation of the previous one, forming a cohesive whole. Series, however, emphasizes the collection and arrangement of similar or related items, where each item can be a complete entity in itself but relates to the others in theme, subject, or characters.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
To summarize, while serial emphasizes sequential progression and continuity in a single storyline, a series focuses on the collection and arrangement of individual yet related items or events that may or may not have a continuous narrative but share common characteristics.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A format presenting a story in regular installments.
A set of related items arranged or occurring in order.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Continuity

Contains continuous narrative in each installment.
May consist of standalone elements under a common theme.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Focus

On sequential and periodic unfolding of a story.
On the collection and arrangement of similar or related items.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Consumption

Regular intervals and maintaining continuity.
Each part can be experienced independently.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

Nature

Progressive and cohesive.
Related but individual.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023
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Serial and Series Definitions

Serial

Pertaining to the sequential performance of multiple operations.
A serial processor executes one operation at a time.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Series

A set of related items or events presented or occurring in order.
She watched the entire series of the crime documentary in one night.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

Serial

A story or play appearing regularly over a period of time.
The murder mystery was released as a serial in the monthly magazine.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Series

A sequence of elements with a similar theme or characteristic.
The artist showcased a series of landscape paintings.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Serial

Consisting of a series of connected events or elements.
Serial measurements were taken to monitor the changes.
Sara Rehman
Sep 21, 2023

Series

A succession of related events occurring or presented in continuation.
A series of fortunate events led to the discovery of the hidden treasure.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

Serial

Occurring in a series rather than simultaneously.
The serial arrangement of the experiment ensured controlled conditions.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

Series

A set of books, articles, or periodicals published as a group.
The author’s new series of fantasy novels has been well received.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

Serial

A work of fiction delivered periodically in sequential parts.
The author decided to publish his novel as a serial online
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Series

A number of objects or events arranged or coming one after the other in succession.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of, forming, or arranged in a series.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

A set of stamps, coins, or currency issued in a particular period.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Published or produced in installments, as a novel or television drama.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

Physics & Chemistry A group of objects related by linearly varying successive differences in form or configuration
A radioactive decay series.
The paraffin alkane series.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Relating to such publication or production.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Mathematics) The sum of a sequentially ordered finite or infinite set of terms.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Relating to or engaging in a series of similar acts or behaviors
Serial arson.
A serial procrastinator.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Geology) A group of rock formations closely related in time of origin and distinct as a group from other formations.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

(Music) Relating to or based on a row of tones, especially the 12 pitches of the chromatic scale.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Grammar) A succession of coordinate elements in a sentence.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of or relating to the sequential transmission of all the bits of a byte over one wire
A serial port.
A serial printer.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

A succession of publications that present an extended narrative, such as a comic book series, or that have similar subjects or similar formats, such as a series of cookbooks.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations
Serial processing.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A succession of individual programs presented as parts of a unified whole, such as the set of episodes of a television show or a podcast.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A work of entertainment, as in film or literature, published or produced in installments that usually contain a narrative thread or overarching theme; a series.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Sports) A number of games played by the same two teams, often in succession.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Having to do with or arranged in a series.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Baseball) The World Series.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

(of a person) Who performs a specified action or course of action repeatedly or regularly.
The serial killer had a string of victims across seven states.
He was a serial entrepreneur, always coming up with a new way to make cash.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(Linguistics) A set of vowels or diphthongs related by ablaut, as in sing, sang, sung, and song.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Published or produced in installments.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

A number of things that follow on one after the other or are connected one after the other.
A series of seemingly inconsequential events led cumulatively to the fall of the company.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

(grammar) Of or relating to a grammatical aspect relating to an action that is habitual and ongoing.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(broadcasting) A television or radio program which consists of several episodes that are broadcast in regular intervals
“Friends” was one of the most successful television series in recent years.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A work, such as a work of fiction, published in installments, often numbered and without a specified end.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(mathematics) The sequence of partial sums \sum_{i=1}^n{a_i} of a given sequence ai.
The harmonic series has been much studied.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A publication issued in successive parts, often numbered and with no predetermined end.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A group of matches between two sides, with the aim being to win more matches than the opposition.
The Blue Jays are playing the Yankees in a four-game series.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A serial number, esp. one required to activate software.
Go to these sites for serials, cracks and keygens.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(zoology) An unranked taxon.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

(UK) A unit of police officers equipped with shields to tackle a riot.
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Feb 06, 2023

Series

(botany) A subdivision of a genus, a taxonomic rank below that of section (and subsection) but above that of species.
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Feb 06, 2023

Serial

(transitive) to assign a serial number to (especially of aircraft)
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(commerce) A parcel of rough diamonds of assorted qualities.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of or pertaining to a series; consisting of a series; appearing in successive parts or numbers; as, a serial work or publication.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(phonology) A set of consonants that share a particular phonetic or phonological feature.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of or pertaining to rows.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(electronics) Connected one after the other in a circuit, in series.
You have to connect the lights in series for them to work properly.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A publication appearing in a series or succession of part; a tale, or other writing, published in successive numbers of a periodical.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events.
During some years his life a series of triumphs.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A serialized set of programs;
A comedy series
The Masterworks concert series
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

Any comprehensive group of animals or plants including several subordinate related groups.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

A periodical that appears at scheduled times
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

In Engler's system of plant classification, a group of families showing certain structural or morphological relationships. It corresponds to the cohort of some writers, and to the order of many modern systematists.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

In regular succession without gaps;
Serial concerts
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

An indefinite number of terms succeeding one another, each of which is derived from one or more of the preceding by a fixed law, called the law of the series; as, an arithmetical series; a geometrical series.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Pertaining to or composed in serial technique;
Serial music
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A mode of arranging the separate parts of a circuit by connecting them successively end to end to form a single path for the current; - opposed to parallel. The parts so arranged are said to be in series.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Pertaining to or occurring in or producing a series;
Serial monogamy
Serial killing
A serial killer
Serial publication
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A parcel of rough diamonds of assorted qualities.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Serial

Of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations;
Serial processing
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

Similar things placed in order or happening one after another;
They were investigating a series of bank robberies
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A serialized set of programs;
A comedy series
The Masterworks concert series
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A periodical that appears at scheduled times
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(sports) several contests played successively by the same teams;
The visiting team swept the series
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A group of postage stamps having a common theme or a group of coins or currency selected as a group for study or collection;
The Post Office issued a series commemorating famous American entertainers
His coin collection included the complete series of Indian-head pennies
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(mathematics) the sum of a finite or infinite sequence of expressions
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

(electronics) connection of components in such a manner that current flows first through one and then through the other;
The voltage divider consisted of a series of fixed resistors
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 06, 2023

Series

A number of games or contests played to determine an overall champion.
The team played a five-game series to determine the winner.
Sara Rehman
Sep 21, 2023

FAQs

Is a series a collection of related items?

Yes, a series is a set or collection of related items or events.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Does a series emphasize arrangement and collection?

Yes, a series emphasizes the arrangement and collection of related items or events.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

Can a series of books have the same characters in different adventures?

Yes, a series of books can feature the same characters experiencing different adventures.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Does serial emphasize continuity and progression?

Yes, serial emphasizes sequential progression and continuity in a storyline.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Can a serial have independent episodes?

Typically, a serial has a continuous narrative, with episodes not independent.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Does series refer to a set of periodicals?

Yes, series can refer to a set of periodicals, books, or articles published as a group.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

What is a serial in literature?

A serial in literature is a work presented in regular, sequential installments.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Can a series have a continuous narrative?

While it can, a series often consists of related but independent items or events.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Is a serial published at regular intervals?

Yes, a serial is usually published or broadcasted at regular intervals.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Is a serial cohesive and progressive?

Yes, a serial is generally cohesive and progressive, with a continuous narrative.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

Can a serial be in the form of a play or a story?

Yes, a serial can be a play or a story presented in sequential installments.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Can series be used to describe a set of related lectures or workshops?

Yes, series can describe a set of related lectures, workshops, or other events.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

Is a serial more about unfolding a single storyline?

Yes, a serial is more about the sequential and periodic unfolding of a single storyline.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

Can series refer to a number of games or contests?

Yes, series can refer to a sequence of games or contests played to determine a champion.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

Can a serial be consumed independently?

Typically, serial installments are not independent and are consumed in sequence.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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