I am looking for a word (or a group of words) that describe items that can (or can’t) be labelled with a serial number/barcode. (I was thinking of “can serialable items” and “non-seriable items”, but I could not find serialable and non-seriable in dictionary.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Can you give a little bit more context? What is this for? And can you give an example of an item that cannon be labelled with a serial number?
    – Sam
    Oct 27, 2011 at 1:18
  • A example of a item that cannot be labelled with a serial number / bar code - capacitor. (Other examples are pen, pencils, spoon, fork, resistor, paper). A example of a item that can be labelled with a serial number / var code - Laptop. (Other examples are scanner, table, printer) Oct 27, 2011 at 1:22

3 Answers 3


The word 'serialized' can be used this way. It literally means arranged as a series or placed in a definite order. But products with serial numbers are arranged as a series and are placed in a definite order.

Some laws refer to products containing a serial number as "serialized" products. For example, California's 21628(b) says: "... [a] complete and reasonably accurate description of serialized property, including, but not limited to, the following: serial number and other identifying marks or symbols, owner-applied numbers, ..."

  • Hi David, may I know if I can consider the word 'non-serialized' for items that cannot be labelled? Oct 27, 2011 at 2:02
  • 1
    "Non-serializable" and "non-serialized" are commonly used for the computer science meaning of "serialize" (convert into a stream of bytes). So I don't see why you can't use it for this one. You certainly wouldn't be the first to do so. Oct 27, 2011 at 2:06
  • Hi David, so, I can use the two word "Non-serializable" and "non-serialized" outside the computer science context cause my question is not related to computer science. Oct 27, 2011 at 2:08
  • 2
    The government does so why not you. Oct 27, 2011 at 2:09
  • Marked as answer Nov 1, 2011 at 7:04

You could use trackable for those that can be labelled, and not trackable, nontrackable, or untrackable for those that can.

From thefreedictionary.com:

Adj. 1.trackable - capable of being traced or tracked;

Although now that I've typed untrackable, untraceable comes to mind, but I'm not sure it means quite what you want.

EDIT(side note: I've just noticed the site I linked lists traceable as an alternative)

While responding to the comment below, I realized a very workable word for this is indexed for those itmes which are labelled/numbered (and non-indexed for those which are not).

Since you have many of each type of item, and are using the barcodes to differentiate between the barcoded items, you could use the terms unique and generic.

  • for your information - you are on the right track to what I want. I still open for new word(s) suggestion. Oct 27, 2011 at 1:28
  • @LarryMorries Is a count kept of all the non-indexed items?
    – yoozer8
    Oct 27, 2011 at 1:29
  • all items will be counted as need to know how many items are in the storeroom. Oct 27, 2011 at 1:32
  • @LarryMorries Well, that rules out inventoried vs non-inventoried.
    – yoozer8
    Oct 27, 2011 at 1:33
  • there is no need to differentiate between the barcoded items but I appreciate those 2 words. I need most is the differentiate between barcoded items and non-barcoded items Oct 27, 2011 at 1:53


You say you are looking for a word to express that the object cannot be labeled with a serial number barcode. The issue seems to be not so much whether the object should be labeled, but just the practicality of putting a label on the object. So the most direct solutions would be negations of labelable or barcodable.

Out of the various combinations of un- and non- prefixes with labelable and barcodable, with or without the hyphen, only unlabelable shows up with any frequency in the Google Ngram Viewer.


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