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From Old French serrer, from Vulgar Latin *serrāre (close, shut), from Late Latin serāre, present active infinitive of serō (fasten, bolt), from Latin sera (bolt, crossbar).


  • IPA(key): /sɛ.ʁe/, /se.ʁe/
  • (file)



  1. to tighten (a screw, a knot)
    Doucement ! Ça ne sert à rien de trop serrer cette vis.Gently! It's no use to tighten this screw too much.
    Ton nœud de cravate n'est pas assez serré.Your tie's knot isn't tightened enough.
  2. to shake (hands)
    J'ai refusé de lui serrer la main.I refused to shake his/her hand.
  3. to squeeze
    Il lui serra la bras si fort qu'elle en garda une trace pendant trois jours.He squeezed her arm so hard that she had a mark of it for three days.
  4. (reflexive) to squeeze
    Ils se sont serrés pour lui faire une place.They squeezed together to make room for him.
  5. (takes a reflexive pronoun) to shake (hands)
    Les jeunes hommes d'affaires se sont serré la main.The young businessmen shook each other's hands.
  6. (slang) to seduce; to flirt with


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