v. & n.
1 tr. do a service for (a person, community, etc.).
2 tr. (also absol.) be a servant to.
3 intr. carry out duties (served on six committees).
4 intr. a (foll. by in) be employed in (an organization, esp. the armed forces, or a place, esp. a foreign country) (served in the air force). b be a member of the armed forces.
5 a tr. be useful to or serviceable for; meet the needs of; do what is required for (serve a purpose; one packet serves him for a week). b intr. meet requirements; perform a function (a sofa serving as a bed). c intr. (foll. by to + infin.) avail, suffice (his attempt served only to postpone the inevitable; it serves to show the folly of such action).
6 tr. go through a due period of (office, apprenticeship, a prison sentence, etc.).
7 tr. set out or present (food) for those about to eat it (asparagus served with butter; dinner was then served).
8 intr. (in full serve at table) act as a waiter.
9 tr. a attend to (a customer in a shop). b (foll. by with) supply with (goods) (was serving a customer with apples; served the town with gas).
10 tr. treat or act towards (a person) in a specified way (has served me shamefully; you may serve me as you will).
11 tr. a (often foll. by on) deliver (a writ etc.) to the person concerned in a legally formal manner (served a warrant on him). b (foll. by with) deliver a writ etc. to (a person) in this way (served her with a summons).
12 tr. Tennis etc. a (also absol.) deliver (a ball etc.) to begin or resume play. b produce (a fault etc.) by doing this.
13 tr. Mil. keep (a gun, battery, etc.) firing.
14 tr. (of an animal, esp. a stallion etc. hired for the purpose) copulate with (a female).
15 tr. distribute (served the ammunition out; served the rations round).
16 tr. render obedience to (a deity etc.).
17 Eccl. a intr. act as a server. b tr. act as a server at (a service).
18 intr. (of a tide) be suitable for a ship to leave harbour etc.
19 tr. Naut. bind (a rope etc.) with thin cord to strengthen it.
20 tr. play (a trick etc.) on.
1 Tennis etc. a the act or an instance of serving. b a manner of serving. c a person's turn to serve.
2 Austral. sl. a reprimand.
Phrases and idioms:
it will serve it will be adequate. serve one's needs (or need) be adequate. serve out retaliate on. serve the purpose of take the place of, be used as. serve a person right be a person's deserved punishment or misfortune. serve one's time
1 hold office for the normal period.
2 (also serve time) undergo imprisonment, apprenticeship, etc. serve one's (or the) turn be adequate. serve up offer for acceptance.
Etymology: ME f. OF servir f. L servire f. servus slave

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Serve — Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serve — → serf ● serf, serve adjectif (latin servus, esclave) Relatif à l état des serfs : Des hommes de condition serve. Littéraire. Qui fait preuve d une soumission complète à l égard d autrui. ● serf, serve (homonymes) adjectif (latin servus, esclave) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • serve — [sɜːv ǁ sɜːrv] verb 1. [transitive] COMMERCE to supply customers with a particular product or service or with something they need: • The firm plans to open a London office to serve clients with investments and businesses in Europe. • JAL Group… …   Financial and business terms

  • serve — [sʉrv] vt. served, serving [ME serven < OFr servir < L servire, to serve < servus, servant, slave: see SERF] 1. to work for as a servant 2. a) to do services or duties for; give service to; aid; assist; help b) to give obedience and… …   English World dictionary

  • serve — vt served, serv·ing 1: to deliver, publish, or execute (notice or process) as required by law no notice of any such request was ever served on the husband National Law Journal 2: to make legal service upon (the person named in a process): inform… …   Law dictionary

  • serve — late 12c., to render habitual obedience to, from O.Fr. servir to serve, from L. servire to serve, originally be a slave, related to servus slave, perhaps from an Etruscan word (Cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve). Meaning to attend to (a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Serve — Serve, v. i. 1. To be a servant or a slave; to be employed in labor or other business for another; to be in subjection or bondage; to render menial service. [1913 Webster] The Lord shall give thee rest . . . from the hard bondage wherein thou… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serve — ► VERB 1) perform duties or services for. 2) be employed as a member of the armed forces. 3) spend (a period) in office, in an apprenticeship, or in prison. 4) present food or drink to. 5) attend to (a customer in a shop). 6) be of use in… …   English terms dictionary

  • serve — [v1] aid, help; supply arrange, assist, attend to, be of assistance, be of use, care for, deal, deliver, dish up*, distribute, do for, give, handle, hit, minister to, nurse, oblige, play, present, provide, provision, set out, succor, wait on,… …   New thesaurus

  • Serve — may refer to: * Serve (tennis) * Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment * Providing a non material good, as in the work of a servant * Supplying customers with food and drink, as in the work of a food server * Delivering a legal or… …   Wikipedia

  • serve up — (something) to offer something. The TV miniseries will be serving up five hour long programs. Hitchcock served up a pitch that Perez hit over the fence for a home run. Filmgoers demand realism, and Lee serves it up without flash or tricks in his… …   New idioms dictionary

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