Definitions for serve
Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word serve.
(sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play
"his powerful serves won the game"
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"
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"
contribute or conduce to
"The scandal served to increase his popularity"
be used by; as of a utility
"The sewage plant served the neighboring communities"; "The garage served to shelter his horses"
help to some food; help with food or drink
"I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
serve, serve up, dish out, dish up, dishverb
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"
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"
serve, serve wellverb
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 country well"
spend time in prison or in a labor camp
"He did six years for embezzlement"
serve, attend to, wait on, attend, assistverb
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"
serve, process, swear outverb
deliver a warrant or summons to someone
"He was processed by the sheriff"
suffice, do, answer, serveverb
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"
do military service
"She served in Vietnam"; "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
"male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
put the ball into play
"It was Agassi's turn to serve"
the act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games
Whose serve is it?
A portion of food, a serving
To be a formal servant for (a god or deity); to worship in an official capacity.
To be a servant for; to work for, to be employed by.
To wait upon (someone) at table; to set food and drink in front of, to help (someone) to food, meals etc.
To treat (someone) in a given manner.
To be a servant or worker; to perform the duties of a servant or employee; to render service.
To be suitor to; to be the lover of.
To be useful to; to meet the needs of.
To have a given use or purpose; to function for something or to do something.
To usefully take the place as, instead of something else.
To set down (food or drink) on the table to be eaten; to bring (food, drink) to a person.
To officially deliver (a legal notice, summons etc.).
To make legal service upon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.)
to serve a witness with a subpoena.
To be in military service.
To lead off with the first delivery over the net in tennis, volleyball, ping pong, badminton etc.
To copulate with (of male animals); to cover.
To work, to operate (a weapon).
To work through (a given period of time in prison, a sentence).
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Etymology: servir, French; servio, Latin.
Because thou art my brother, should’st thou therefore serve me for nought? Gen. xxix. 15.
A goddess among gods ador’d, and serv’d
By angels numberless, thy daily train. John Milton.
When wealthy, shew thy wisdom not to be
To wealth a servant, but make wealth serve thee. John Denham.
Others, pamper’d in their shameless pride,
Are serv’d in plate, and in their chariots ride. Dryden.
Bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.
Soon after our dinner was served in, which was right good viands, both for bread and meat: we had also drink of three sorts, all wholsome and good. Francis Bacon.
Besmeared with the horrid juice of sepia, they danced a little in phantastick postures, retired a while, and then returned serving up a banquet as at solemn funerals. Taylor.
Some part he roasts; then serves it up so drest,
And bids me welcome to this humble feast:
Mov’d with disdain,
I with avenging flames the palace burn’d. Dryden.
The same mess should be served up again for supper, and breakfast next morning. John Arbuthnot, History of John Bull.
Bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright. John Milton.
They that serve the city, shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel. Ezek. xlviii. 19.
If any subject, interest, or fancy has recommended, their reasoning is after their fashion; it serves their turn. John Locke.
When a storm of a sad mischance beats upon our spirits, turn it into some advantage, by observing where it can serve another end, either of religion or prudence. Taylor.
He consider’d every creature
Most opportune might serve his wiles. John Milton.
They think herein we serve the time, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment. Richard Hooker.
As the former empty plea served the sottish Jews, this equally serves these to put them into a fool’s paradise, by feeding their hopes, without changing their lives. South.
Nothing would serve them then but riding. Roger L'Estrange.
One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine,
And is at once their vinegar and wine. Alexander Pope.
The dull flat falshood serves for policy,
And in the cunning, truth itself’s a lye. Alexander Pope.
A complete brave man must know solidly the main end he is in the world for; and withal how to serve himself of the divine’s high contemplations, of the metaphysician’s subtile speculations, and of the natural philosopher’s minute observations. Kenelm Digby, on the Soul.
They would serve themselves of this form. Taylor.
I will serve myself of this concession. William Chillingworth.
It is much more easy for men to serve their own ends of those principles, which they do not put into men, but find there. John Tillotson, Sermons.
If they elevate themselves, ’tis only to fall from a higher place, because they serve themselves of other men’s wings, neither understanding their use nor virtue. John Dryden, Dufresn.
Matters hid leave to God, him serve and fear. John Milton.
Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. Hos.
We will give thee this also, for the service which thou shalt serve with me. Gen. xx. 27.
Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins; thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. Is. xliii. 24.
Martha was cumbered about much serving, and said, Lord, do’st thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Luke x. 40.
Both more or less have given him the revolt;
And none serve with but constrained things,
Whose hearts are absent too. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
Many noble gentlemen came out of all parts of Italy, who had before been great commanders, but now served as private gentlemen without pay. Richard Knolles, History of the Turks.
The look bewrayed, that as she used these ornaments, not for herself, but to prevail with another, so she feared that all would not serve. Philip Sidney.
Take it, she said; and when your needs require,
This little brand will serve to light your fire. Dryden.
We have the summary of all our griefs,
When time shall serve to shew in articles. William Shakespeare, H. IV.
Yet time serves, wherein you may redeem
Your banish’d honours. William Shakespeare, H. IV.
As occasion serves, this noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply. William Shakespeare, H. VI.
Read that; ’tis with the royal signet sign’d,
And given me by the king, when time should serve,
To be perus’d by you. John Dryden, Spanish Fryar.
Churches, as every thing else, receive their chief perfection from the end whereunto they serve. Richard Hooker.
Our speech to worldly superiors we frame in such sort as serveth best to inform and persuade the minds of them, who otherwise neither could nor would greatly regard our necessities. Richard Hooker.
Priests serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. Hebr. viii. 5.
Who lessens thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might. John Milton.
Fashion is, for the most part, nothing but the ostentation of riches; and therefore the high price of what serves to that, rather encreases than lessens its vent. John Locke.
First investigate the variety of motions and figures made by the organs which serve for articulation, and the variety of matter to which those articulations are severally applied. William Holder.
Our victory only served to lead us on to further visionary prospects. Jonathan Swift.
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
to be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to
to be suitor to; to profess love to
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
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
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
to contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn
to answer or be (in the place of something) to; as, a sofa serves one for a seat and a couch
to treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act toward; as, he served me very ill
to work; to operate; as, to serve the guns
to bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively, in such manner as the law requires; as, to serve a summons
to make legal service opon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.); as, to serve a witness with a subp/na
to pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison
to copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male
to lead off in delivering (the ball)
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
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
to perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc
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
to be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable
to lead off in delivering the ball
A serve in tennis is a shot to start a point. A player will hit the ball with a racquet so it will fall into the diagonally opposite backside box without being stopped by the net. Normally players begins a serve by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it. The ball can only touch the net on a return and will be considered good if it falls on the opposite side. If the ball contacts the net on the serve but then proceeds to the proper backside box, it is called a let; this is not a legal serve in the major tours although it is also not a fault. Players typically serve overhead, but serving underhand, although rare, is allowed. The serve is the only shot a player can take their time to set up instead of having to react to an opponent's shot. The serve is one of the more difficult shots for a novice, but once mastered it can be a considerable advantage. Advanced players can hit the serve in many different ways and often use it as an offensive weapon to gain an advantage in the point or to win it outright. Because of this, professional players are expected to win most of their service games, and the ability to break an opponent's serve plays a crucial role in a match.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
sėrv, v.t. to be a servant to, to work for and obey: to attend or wait upon: to work for: to obey: to be subservient or subordinate to: to wait upon at table, &c.: to do duty for: to treat, behave towards: to render worship to: to aid by good offices: to minister to a priest at mass: to comply with: to requite: to handle, manipulate: to furnish: (naut.) to bind with small cord: (law) to deliver or present formally: to furnish: to cover, of stallions, &c.: to deliver the ball in tennis.—v.i. to be employed as a servant, to discharge any regular duty: to be in subjection: to suffice, to avail, to be suitable or favourable.—n. in tennis, the act of the first player in striking the ball, or the style in which this is done.—ns. Ser′vage (obs.), servitude: the service of a lover; Ser′ver, one who serves: an attendant on the priest at the celebration of the Eucharist: the player who strikes the tennis-ball first: a salver, any utensil for distributing or helping at table.—Serve an office, to discharge the duties of an office; Serve a process or writ, to formally communicate a process or writ to the person to whom it is addressed; Serve an attachment, to levy such a writ on the person or goods by seizure; Serve an execution, to levy an execution on the person or goods by seizure; Serve a sentence, to undergo the punishment prescribed by a judicial sentence; Serve one a trick, to play a trick on one; Serve one out, to take revenge on some one; Serve one right, to treat one as he deserves; Serve one's time, to complete one's apprenticeship; Serve out, to deal or distribute; Serve the purpose of, to answer adequately an end for which something else is designed; Serve the turn, to suffice for one's immediate purpose or need; Serve time, to undergo a period of imprisonment, &c.; Serve up, to bring to table. [Fr. servir—L. servīre, to serve.]
Military Dictionary and Gazetteer
To be in service; to do duty; to discharge the requirements of an office or employment; and, specifically, to act as a soldier, seaman, etc. To serve a piece, in the artillery, is to load and fire with promptitude and correctness. To serve the vent, to stop it with the thumb.
To defeat an opponent with skill. "Yeah Kris, serve em man, serve em!" -- Boogie Down Productions (Build and Destroy)
To deliver. "Serve 'em a sentence" -- Kool Keith featuring Motion Man (Serve 'Em a Sentence)
To be incarcerated. "Question: Do you have to pack a Tec-9, serve jail time, to learn how to rhyme?" -- Danja Mowf (Question)
To kill. "Say, Knocc and Flesh glock, glock to takes it comin' 2 serve ya" -- Flesh-N-Bone featuring BG Knocc Out (Comin' 2 Serve You)
To have (oral) sexual intercourse.
When someone is broken up with, defeated, or otherwise dismissed we say "he got served."
To sell or deal drugs Do you know any one who serves around here.
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'serve' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1956
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'serve' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2495
Rank popularity for the word 'serve' in Verbs Frequency: #140
The numerical value of serve in Chaldean Numerology is: 3
The numerical value of serve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6
I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet.
I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years. I have been fortunate to serve in the U.S. Senate longer than any other Alabamian.
All too often, anti-Israel feelings serve as a shield for anti-Semitism.
Do not eat, serve, or sell any recalled enoki mushrooms distributed by Sun Hong Foods, Inc.
How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue Who would not be that youth What pity is it That we can die but once to serve our country
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for serve
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- قدم, تخدمArabic
- служы́ць, паслужы́цьBelarusian
- servir, serveiCatalan, Valencian
- sloužit, podávat, podat, servírovatCzech
- servieren, dienenGerman
- desempeñar, operar, funcionar, servicio, cernir, cerner, servir, sevirSpanish
- سرو کردن, سرویسPersian
- kosia, kosiskella, tarjota, hoitaa, syöttö, astua, käyttää, istua, rihmata, palvella, tarjoilla, toimia, toimittaa, syöttää, avustaa, saattaa tietoon, kohdellaFinnish
- servir, signifier, serviceFrench
- szerva, szervál, adogatHungarian
- servire, portare in tavola, servizioItalian
- serve, servio, prosumLatin
- serveren, bedienen, dienen, opdienenDutch
- saque, sacar, servirPortuguese
- servir, sarvir, sarveir, survirRomansh
- послужить, подача, обслужить, подать, подавать, работать, служить, обслуживать, поработатьRussian
- selvire, serviri, servire, serbire, serbiriSardinian
- avtjäna, serve, uppvakta, betäcka, servera, serva, fungera, tjänaSwedish
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