Serve definition

sûrv
To work for (someone) as a servant.

The steward serves the king.

verb
17
5
To serve is to give someone service or present someone with something.

An example of serve is when you bring someone a drink.

An example of serve is when you spend a year in a committed situation, such as in the military or in prison.

An example of serve is when you deliver legal papers that must be delivered in a specific and prescribed manner.

verb
2
0
(sports) To put (a ball or shuttlecock) in play, as in tennis, badminton, or jai alai.
verb
5
4
To provide goods and services for (customers).

A hotel that has served tourists at the same location for 30 years.

verb
4
3
To do military or naval service for.
verb
1
0
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To pass or spend (a term of imprisonment, military service, etc.)

To serve a year in prison.

verb
1
0
To give homage and obedience to.

Served God.

verb
4
4
To prepare and offer (food, for example).

Serve tea.

verb
2
2
To act toward (another) in a specified way.

She has served me ill.

verb
1
1
To copulate with; service. Used of male animals.
verb
1
1
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To bind or whip (a rope) with fine cord or wire.
verb
1
1
The act or right of serving in many court games.
noun
1
1
The act or manner of serving the ball in tennis, etc., or one's turn to serve.
noun
1
1
To be in prison for (a period or term).

Served 10 years for armed robbery.

verb
0
0
(sports) To be removed from play for a specified period because of (a penalty).
verb
0
0
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To deliver or present (a process of the court, such as a summons or court order) in a manner prescribed by law to a person who is legally entitled to receive it or legally required to obey it.
verb
0
0
To present such a process to (someone).
verb
0
0
To be employed as a servant.
verb
0
0
To do a term of duty.

Serve in the US Air Force; serve on a jury.

verb
0
0
To act in a particular capacity.

Serve as a clerk.

verb
0
0
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To be of service or use; function.

Let this incident serve as a reminder to future generations.

verb
0
0
To meet requirements or needs; satisfy.

A device that will serve well.

verb
0
0
To wait on tables.

Serve at luncheon.

verb
0
0
(sports) To hit a ball or shuttlecock as a way of starting play in court games.
verb
0
0
To assist the celebrant during Mass.
verb
0
0
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To be used by.

A library that serves the entire town.

verb
0
0
To function or perform for.

If memory serves me well.

verb
0
0
To behave toward; treat.

To be cruelly served.

verb
0
0
(animal husbandry) To copulate with (a female)
verb
0
0
(naut.) To wrap cords, twine, etc. around (a rope) to protect it.
verb
0
0
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(tennis, etc.) To hit (a tennis ball, etc.) to one's opponent in order to start play.
verb
0
0
To do services or duties for; give service to; aid; assist; help.
verb
0
0
To give obedience and reverent honor to (God, one's lord, etc.)
verb
0
0
(archaic) To pay court to (a lady)
verb
0
0
To carry out the duties connected with (a position, office, etc.)
verb
0
0
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To act as server for (Mass, Benediction, etc.)
verb
0
0
To wait on (customers), as in a store.
verb
0
0
To provide (customers, clients, or users) with goods or services, esp. professional services.
verb
0
0
To provide (goods) for customers; supply.
verb
0
0
To prepare and offer (food, etc.) in a certain way.

Serve the beef with rice.

verb
0
0
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To offer or set food, etc. before (a person)
verb
0
0
To give someone a portion or portions of (food, etc.) at the table.
verb
0
0
To meet the needs or satisfy the requirements of.

A tool that serves many purposes.

verb
0
0
To promote or further.

To serve the national interest.

verb
0
0
To deliver (a legal instrument, as a summons)
verb
0
0
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To deliver a legal instrument to; esp., to present with a writ.
verb
0
0
To work as a servant.
verb
0
0
To be in service; do service.

To serve in the navy.

verb
0
0
To be used or usable; be of service; function.
verb
0
0
To meet needs or satisfy requirements.
verb
0
0
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To provide guests with something to eat or drink, as by waiting on table.
verb
0
0
To be suitable or favorable.
verb
0
0
To start play by hitting the ball, etc. to one's opponent, as in tennis.
verb
0
0
To carry out the duties connected with a position, office, etc.
verb
0
0
To act as server for Mass, Benediction, etc.
verb
0
0
To deliver a legal document, especially a process or notice; to present a legal notice or subpoena to a person as required by law.
verb
0
0
To spend time in the armed forces or in some uniformed service (police, fire, and so on). See also service.
verb
0
0
(sports) An act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games.

Whose serve is it?

noun
0
0
(chiefly Australia) A portion of food or drink, a serving.
noun
0
0
(personal) To provide a service.
  • To be a formal servant for (a god or deity); to worship in an official capacity. [from 12th c.]
  • To be a servant for; to work for, to be employed by. [from 13th c.]
  • To wait upon (someone) at table; to set food and drink in front of, to help (someone) to food, meals etc. [from 13th c.]
  • (intransitive) To be a servant or worker; to perform the duties of a servant or employee; to render service. [from 14th c.]
  • To set down (food or drink) on the table to be eaten; to bring (food, drink) to a person. [from 15th c.]
verb
0
0
(archaic) To treat (someone) in a given manner. [from 13th c.]
verb
0
0
(archaic) To be suitor to; to be the lover of. [from 14th c.]
verb
0
0
To be effective.
  • To be useful to; to meet the needs of. [from 14th c.]
  • (intransitive) To have a given use or purpose; to function for something or to do something. [from 14th c.]
  • (intransitive) To usefully take the place as, instead of something else. [from 14th c.]
  • (intransitive) To be in military service. [from 16th c.]
verb
0
0
(law) To deliver a document.
  • To officially deliver (a legal notice, summons etc.). [from 15th c.]
  • To make legal service upon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.)
    To serve a witness with a subpoena.
verb
0
0
(intransitive, sports) To lead off with the first delivery over the net in tennis, volleyball, ping pong, badminton etc. [from 16th c.]
verb
0
0
To copulate with (of male animals); to cover. [from 16th c.]
verb
0
0
(military) To work, to operate (a weapon). [from 18th c.]
verb
0
0
To work through (a given period of time in prison, a sentence). [from 19th c.]
verb
0
0
(nautical) To wind spun yarn etc. tightly around (a rope or cable, etc.) so as to protect it from chafing or from the weather.
verb
0
0
To place food before (someone); wait on.

Served the guests a wonderful dinner.

verb
1
2
To work for as a servant.
verb
1
2
To fight or undergo military service for.

Served the country for five years in the navy.

verb
0
1
To supply (goods or services) to customers.
verb
0
1
To meet the requirements of; suffice for.

This will serve the purpose. The tent served us well in the storm.

verb
0
1
To be of assistance to or promote the interests of; aid.
verb
0
1
To work through or complete (a period of service).

Served four terms in Congress.

verb
0
1
To assist the celebrant during (Mass).
verb
3
5
serve (someone) right
  • To be deserved under the circumstances:
    Punish him; it will serve him right for what he has done to you.
idiom
0
0
serve someone right
  • to be what someone deserves, for doing something wrong or foolish
idiom
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
serve
Plural:
serves

Origin of serve

  • Middle English serven from Old French servir from Latin servīre from servus slave

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English serven, from Middle French servir, from Old French, from Latin servire (“to be a slave; to serve"), from Latin servus (“slave; servant"), which perhaps derives from Etruscan (compare Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve).

    From Wiktionary