serve

serve1 [ sɜrv ] verb ***
▸ 1 provide food/drink
▸ 2 do job
▸ 3 be used for purpose
▸ 4 help achieve something
▸ 5 spend time in prison
▸ 6 provide with something useful
▸ 7 help customers in store
▸ 8 officially give document
▸ 9 hit ball to start play
▸ + PHRASES
1. ) intransitive or transitive to provide food and drink for someone to eat at a meal:
A light meal will be served during the flight.
serve breakfast/lunch/dinner etc.: Dinner is served between 7 and 10 p.m.
serve something with something: All dishes are served with a salad.
serve something to someone: A complimentary afternoon snack is served to all guests.
serve someone something: Carolyn served them tea and cake in the garden.
serve someone with something: The waiter served them both with salmon poached in white wine.
serve something hot/cold etc.: The cheese is best served at room temperature.
a ) serve or serve up intransitive or transitive to put food onto a plate for someone:
We were served huge portions of spare ribs.
b ) transitive to be enough food for a particular number of people:
The recipe serves four as a light lunch.
2. ) intransitive or transitive to do a job or perform duties for a person or organization:
He served more than 20 years in the army.
Frank has served this company his whole working life.
serve as: Mr. Russell served as president of the Association for fifteen years.
serve on: Henry also served on numerous other committees and commissions.
serve in: I met my wife, Rachel, while serving in the Navy.
3. ) intransitive or transitive to be used for a particular purpose, especially not the main or original purpose:
serve as: Their spare room also serves as an office.
serve as a reminder/warning: The decision should serve as a warning to companies that pollute the environment.
serve to remind/illustrate/emphasize/strengthen: His death serves to remind us just how dangerous using drugs can be.
4. ) transitive to help achieve something:
serve a purpose: That's a stupid rule. What purpose is it supposed to serve?
serve someone's interests: They voted for a chairman who might better serve their interests.
serve someone well: His ability to get on with people served him well in setting up his own business.
5. ) transitive to spend time in prison:
serve time: She served time in the state prison for assaulting a police officer.
serve a sentence: He's serving a life sentence for murder.
6. ) transitive to provide a group of people or an area with something useful:
These gas pipes serve the whole area.
serve the needs of: a new hospital to serve the needs of the local community
7. ) intransitive or transitive to help customers buy goods in a store, especially by bringing them things or helping them choose what they need
8. ) transitive to officially give someone a legal document that orders them to do something:
serve someone with a summons/writ/order: She was served with a summons to appear in court.
9. ) intransitive or transitive to hit a ball to your opponent in order to start playing for a point in a game such as tennis
it serves someone right (for doing something)
used for saying that you think someone deserves something unpleasant that happens to them:
I feel awful. It serves you right for eating so much.
,serve `out phrasal verb transitive
to continue doing something until you are officially allowed to stop doing it:
We want you to serve out your full contract.
,serve `up phrasal verb
1. ) transitive INFORMAL to provide something:
The teams served up some highly entertaining football this afternoon.
2. ) intransitive or transitive same as SERVE1 1A:
Aunt Edie served up a lovely roast leg of lamb for dinner.
serve
serve 2 [ sɜrv ] noun count
1. ) a hit of a ball that starts the play in a game such as tennis:
The serve was clearly out.
a ) a particular way of serving a ball:
He's always had a poor serve.
2. ) AUSTRALIAN INFORMAL an instance of telling someone that you do not approve of them or their behavior

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

Synonyms:

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

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.