Cereal vs. Serial

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Cereal is an edible grain, the grasses that produce an edible grain or the food product composed of an edible grain. Some cereals are wheat, oats, corn, rye, millet, etc. Cereal may be used as a noun or an adjective, the plural is cereals. Cereal comes from the Latin word cerealis which means grain, derived from the name of the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres.

Serial means arranged in successive parts in successive intervals, or a behavior that occurs repeatedly in a predictable fashion. Serial may be used as a noun or adjective, the adverb form is serially, and the verb form is serialize. In the mid-1800s, many of Charles Dickens’s novels were first published in magazines in serial form, popularizing the use of the word serial, a word made by combining the word series and the suffix -al.


The story has grabbed headlines for more than a year — and that was before “Serial,” the wildly popular podcast spun off from public radio’s “This American Life,” decided to focus on it. (The Washington Post)

Two people are facing burglary charges after what state police called a serial burglary spree in town from August through October. (The Hartford Courant)

Prasad — who has to contend with some of her past inner demons of guilt and self-doubt — has to zero-in on how the serial killer became that way, in order to help identify him so the police know on whose trail they are. (The Indian Express)

Detectives have appealed for people who may know an alleged serial killer accused of drugging and murdering four young men to come forward. (The Independent)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: