Part of a gun that retards the hammer until the trigger is pulled.
From Middle English sere, seer, seere, from Old English sēar, sīere, from Proto-Germanic *sauzaz ("dry"), from Proto-Indo-European *sh₂ews- ("dry, parched") (also reconstructed as *h₂sews-). Cognate with Dutch zoor ("dry, rough"), Low German soor ("dry"), German sohr ("parched, dried up"), dialectal Norwegian søyr ("the desiccation and death of a tree"), Lithuanian saũsas ("dry"), Homeric Ancient Greek αὖος ("dry"). sere, and sare.
From Middle English seren, seeren, from Old English sēarian ("to become sere, to grow sear, wither, pine away"), from Proto-West Germanic *sauʀēn ("to dry out, become dry"); compare also Proto-Germanic *sauzijaną ("to make dry"). Related to Old High German sōrēn ("to wither, wilt"). See Etymology 1 for more cognates. The use in firearms terminology may relate to French serrer ("to grip").
Modern English dictionary
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