[c]/sɜv / (say serv)

verb (served, serving)
verb (i)
1. to act as a servant.
2. to wait at table; hand food to guests.
3. to render assistance; help.
4. to go through a term of service; do duty as a soldier, sailor, councillor, juror, etc.
5. to have definite use; be of use.
6. to answer the purpose: that will serve to explain my actions.
7. to be favourable, suitable, or convenient, as weather, time, etc.
8. Tennis, etc. to put the ball in play.
9. Ecclesiastical to act as server in Holy Communion.
verb (t)
10. to be in the service of; work for.
11. to render service to; help.
12. to go through (a term of service, imprisonment, etc.).
13. to render active service to (a ruler, commander, etc.).
14. to render obedience or homage to (God, a sovereign, etc.).
15. to perform the duties of (an office, etc.): to serve his mayoralty.
16. to be useful or of service to.
17. to answer the requirements of; suffice.
18. to contribute to; promote.
19. to wait upon; set food before.
20. to set (food) on a table.
21. to act as a host or hostess in presenting (someone) with food or drink: may I serve you with some savouries?
22. to act as a host or hostess in offering (food or drink) to someone: we served cocktails to our guests.
23. to provide with a regular or continuous supply of something.
24. to treat in a specified manner: her car served her well.
25. to gratify (desire, etc.).
26. (of a male animal) to mate with.
27. Tennis, etc. to put (the ball) in play.
28. Law
a. to make legal delivery of (a process or writ).
b. to present (a person) with a writ.
29. to operate or work (a gun, etc.).
30. Nautical, etc. to bind or wind (a rope, etc.) with small cord or the like, as to strengthen or protect it.
31. the act, manner, or right of serving, as in tennis.
32. a portion of food; a serving.
33. Colloquial a strong rebuke; a tongue lashing: she gave him a real serve when he came home drunk.
34. serve out, to distribute.
35. serve someone right, to be someone's merited deserts, especially for a damaging treatment of another: *There's only a little in the bottom and it'll serve them right if they come back late and find we've drunk it. –kylie tennant, 1971.
{Middle English serven, from Old French servir, from Latin servīre}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


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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