Definitions of serve

  1. work for or be a servant to; " May I serve you?"; " She attends the old lady in the wheelchair"; " Can you wait on our table, please?"; " Is a salesperson assisting you?"; " The minister served the King for many years"
  2. provide ( usually but not necessarily food); " We serve meals for the homeless"; " She dished out the soup at 8 P. M."; " The entertainers served up a lively show"
  3. spend time in prison or in a labor camp; " He did six years for embezzlement"
  4. serve a purpose, role, or function; " The tree stump serves as a table"; " The female students served as a control group"; " This table would serve very well"; " His freedom served him well"; " The table functions as a desk"
  5. help to some food; help with food or drink; " I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
  6. deliver a warrant or summons to someone; " He was processed by the sheriff"
  7. a stroke ( in tennis or badminton or squash) that puts the ball in play; " his powerful serves won the game"
  8. put the ball into play; as in games like tennis; " It was Agassi's turn to serve"
  9. do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function; " He served as head of the department for three years"; " She served in Congress for two terms"
  10. mate with; " male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
  11. do military service; " She served in Vietnam"; " My sons never served, because they are short- sighted"
  12. devote ( part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas; " She served the art of music"; " He served the church"; " serve the country"
  13. contribute or conduce to; " The scandal served to increase his popularity"
  14. promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to; " Art serves commerce"; " Their interests are served"; " The lake serves recreation"; " The President's wisdom has served the counrty well"
  15. ( sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play; " his powerful serves won the game"
  16. put the ball into play; " It was Agassi's turn to serve"
  17. be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity; " A few words would answer"; " This car suits my purpose well"; " Will $ 100 do?"; " A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school"; " Nothing else will serve"
  18. To work for; to labor in behalf of; to exert one's self continuously or statedly for the benefit of; to do service for; to be in the employment of, as an inferior, domestic, serf, slave, hired assistant, official helper, etc.; specifically, in a religious sense, to obey and worship.
  19. To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to.
  20. To be suitor to; to profess love to.
  21. To wait upon; to supply the wants of; to attend; specifically, to wait upon at table; to attend at meals; to supply with food; as, to serve customers in a shop.
  22. To perform the duties belonging to, or required in or for; hence, to be of use to; as, a curate may serve two churches; to serve one's country.
  23. To contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn.
  24. To answer or be ( in the place of something) to; as, a sofa serves one for a seat and a couch.
  25. To treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act toward; as, he served me very ill.
  26. To bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively, in such manner as the law requires; as, to serve a summons.
  27. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison.
  28. To wind spun yarn, or the like, tightly around ( a rope or cable, etc.) so as to protect it from chafing or from the weather. See under Serving.
  29. 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.
  30. To perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
  31. To be in service; to do duty; to discharge the requirements of an office or employment. Specifically, to act in the public service, as a soldier, seaman. etc.
  32. To be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable.
  33. To lead off in delivering the ball.
  34. Hence, to bring forward, arrange, deal, or distribute, as a portion of anything, especially of food prepared for eating; - often with up; formerly with in.
  35. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; - said of the male.
  36. To work for; yield obedience to; worship; put on the table and distribute, as food; attend or wait on; as, the clerk served the customer courteously; be of use to; as, his wits will always serve him in an emergency; be enough for; as, this amount will serve my purpose; to treat; as, the Germans served their prisoners ill; to deliver, as a legal writ or summons; to undergo, as a term of apprenticeship, imprisonment, etc.; to supply; as, a farmer serves us with fresh eggs and vegetables; in tennis, to make the first stroke on ( the ball).
  37. To be employed in labor for another; suit or be convenient; discharge the duties of an office or employment; be sufficient: with for; as, this will serve for an excuse.
  38. To be a servant to: to work for and obey: to discharge the duties of an office: to attend or wait: to be sufficient: to suit.
  39. To work for: to be in the employment of: to obey: to be subservient or subordinate to: to wait upon at table, etc.: to do duty for: to treat.
  40. To attend on, or work for, another; to be of service.
  41. To work for; obey; wait upon; supply with food; perform the duties of; suffice for; treat.
  42. To be in the employment of; work for; be of use to; aid.
  43. To content; satisfy; requite.
  44. To conduct; manipulate; handle; wait on.
  45. To act as a servant or under authority.
  46. To be of service; be sufficient.
  47. Server.
  48. To work for; to perform official duties to; to wait on; to submit to; to obey; to be subservient to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to requite; to manage; to assist; to render homage or obedience and worship. To serve up, to prepare and present in a dish. To serve out, to distribute in portions. To serve a writ, to read it to the defendant. To serve an attachment, to levy it on the person or goods by seizure. To serve an execution, to levy it on lands, goods, or person. To serve a warrant, to seize the person against whom it is issued. To serve an office, to discharge a public duty.
  49. To be a servant or slave; to be employed in labour or other business for another; to be in subjection; to perform domestic offices or public duties; to accomplish an end; to suit; to conduce; to officiate.
  50. To work; to operate; as, to serve the guns.
  51. To work for; to perform duties, as an officer in the army or navy; to assist; to attend at command; to yield obedience to; to supply with anything; to suffice for; to stand in place of something else; to officiate or minister; to be a servant or slave; to be subordinate to anything; to treat or requite, in an ill sense; to worship God; to present a writ; to attend or wait; to suit or be convenient.

Usage examples for serve

  1. No, they'll serve to make thy peace with him. – The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian by John Dryden
  2. Plaerdemavida answered: " Tell my lady that she can't force me to serve her. – The White Knight: Tirant lo Blanc by Joanot Martorell and Marti Johan d'Galba
  3. What can I do to serve you? – The Heart of Rome by Francis Marion Crawford
  4. Do they serve no good purpose in our lives? – Heart Talks by Charles Wesley Naylor
  5. It is of no use saying I have the will to serve you when I cannot prove it. – Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
  6. He was willing, if he could, to serve. – The-Brick-Moon-and-Other-Stories by Hale, Edward Everett
  7. There are folk coming and going here, that in my country I would hate sent round to the back door; but naething short of the company of the minister himself will serve them. – Janet's Love and Service by Margaret M Robertson
  8. " I know now," said the King, " How well you serve and how well you guard me. – The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said by Padraic Colum
  9. I am afraid that this nice warm coffee- room will not exactly serve our purpose. – The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  10. We had a splendid yacht and another made fast to it to serve as a kitchen; the dinner began the instant we went on board and ceased only when we stepped a- shore. – Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey through the Country from Pekin to Canton by John Barrow
  11. If not, serve immediately. – A Terrible Secret by May Agnes Fleming
  12. Any one of his three pictures will serve as an example. – Modern Painting by George Moore
  13. We have to find out that we cannot serve two masters. – Men in the Making by Ambrose Shepherd
  14. We have killed one of these animals and eaten half of him; the other half will serve as our food to- morrow. – True Tales of Arctic Heroism in the New World by Adolphus W. Greely
  15. For its full satisfaction, a woman's heart needs to serve where it loves. – The Expositor's Bible: Colossians and Philemon by Alexander Maclaren
  16. It does not pay to serve the gods except for this. – Callista by John Henry Cardinal Newman
  17. It is their master too, and they must serve it.... – Pélléas and Mélisande by Maurice Maeterlinck
  18. I serve thee with my heart And fall before thee. – A History of English Literature Elizabethan Literature by George Saintsbury
  19. She would do anything they wished- serve them in a hundred ways. – Old Kensington by Miss Thackeray