n. pl. ser·a·phim (-ə-fĭm) or ser·aphs
1. Bible A celestial being having three pairs of wings.
2. seraphim Christianity The first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
[Back-formation from pl. seraphim, from Middle English seraphin, from Old English, from Late Latin seraphīn, seraphīm, from Greek serapheim, from Hebrew śərāpîm, pl. of śārāp, fiery serpent, seraph, from śārap, to burn; see śrp1 in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
se·raphic (sə-răfĭk), se·raphi·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.