AskDefine | Define serve

Dictionary Definition

serve n : (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play; "his powerful serves won the game" [syn: service]

Verb

1 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" [syn: function]
2 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"
3 contribute or conduce to; "The scandal served to increase his popularity"
4 be used by; as of a utility; "The sewage plant served the neighboring communities"; "The garage served to shelter his horses" [syn: service]
5 help to some food; help with food or drink; "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself" [syn: help]
6 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" [syn: serve up, dish out, dish up, dish]
7 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"
8 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" [syn: serve well]
9 spend time in prison or in a labor camp; "He did six years for embezzlement" [syn: do]
10 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" [syn: attend to, wait on, attend, assist]
11 deliver a warrant or summons to someone; "He was processed by the sheriff" [syn: process, swear out]
12 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" [syn: suffice, do, answer]
13 do military service; "She served in Vietnam"; "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
14 mate with; "male animals serve the females for breeding purposes" [syn: service]
15 put the ball into play; "It was Agassi's turn to serve"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From serven < servir < < servire "to be a slave, to serve" < servus "slave, servant".

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. the act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games
    Whose serve is it?
  2. A portion of food, a serving

Synonyms

  • (sports: act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play): service
  • (US: portion of food): See serving

Translations

sports: act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play
US: portion of food
See serving

Verb

  1. 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.
  2. To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to.
  3. To be suitor to; to profess love to.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn.
  8. To answer or be (in the place of something) to; as, a sofa serves one for a seat and a couch.
  9. To treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act toward; as, he served me very ill.
  10. To work; to operate; as, to serve the guns.
  11. To bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively, in such manner as the law requires; as, to serve a summons.
  12. To make legal service opon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.); as, to serve a witness with a subpoena.
  13. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison.
  14. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male.
  15. (tennis): To lead off in delivering (the ball).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. To perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
  19. 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.
  20. To be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable.

Translations

to work for
to be subordinate to
to be suitor to
to attend, supply the wants of
to bring forward, distribute
to perform duties
to contribute, promote
to answer or be (in the place of something) to
to treat; to behave one's self to
to work; to operate; as, to serve the guns
to bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively
to make legal service
to spend time of punishment
to copulate
  • Swedish: betäcka (especially of animals)
in sports such as tennis
to wind spun yarn
to be a servant
to perform domestic offices
to be in service
to be of use

Anagrams

French

Pronunciation

Verb form

serve
  1. first-, third-person singular subjunctive present of servir

Italian

Noun

serve
  1. Plural of serva

Verb

serve

Latin

Noun

serve

Extensive Definition

Serve may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accommodate, accord, act, act as, act for, administer, administer to, advance, advantage, afford, allot, allow, answer, answer for, assist, attend, attend on, attend to, avail, award, ball, be OK, be correct, be equal to, be found wanting, be handy, be inferior, be instrumental, be intimate, be of use, be right, bear, bear arms, befit, befitting, behave, bend to, benefit, bestead, bestow, bestow on, bias, bid come, bowl, break no bones, call, call away, call back, call for, call forth, call in, call out, call together, call up, care for, carry arms, cast, catapult, cater to, change of pace, change-up, chore, chuck, chunk, cite, cohabit, come short, come together, commit adultery, communicate, complete, conduce, confer, conjure, conjure up, contribute, convene, convoke, copulate, couple, cover, curve, dance attendance upon, dart, dash, deal, deal out, demand, diddle, dish out, dish up, dispense, dispose, distribute, do, do active duty, do duty, do for, do good, do it, do no harm, do service to, do the job, do the trick, dole, dole out, donate, downcurve, drudge, endure, evoke, extend, facilitate, fail, fall short, fastball, favor, fight for, fill the bill, fire, fit, fling, flip, follow, fork, fork out, fornicate, forward, forward pass, frig, fulfill, function, function as, get by, gift, gift with, give, give freely, give good returns, give out, go, go around, go between, go through, grant, gratify, hack it, hand out, have a tendency, have nothing on, have sex, have sexual relations, head, heap, heave, help, help to, hold, hurl, hurtle, impart, incline, incurve, indent, invoke, issue, jerk, just do, knuckleball, lackey, lance, last, lateral, lateral pass, launch, lavish, lay, lead, lean, let fly, let have, lie with, lob, look after, look to, maid, make, make available, make it with, make love, make out, make the grade, mate, mediate, meet, meet requirements, mete, mete out, minister to, mount, move, muster, muster up, not approach, not come amiss, not come near, not compare, not fail, not hack it, not make it, not measure up, oblige, offer, officiate, operate, order up, outcurve, page, pander to, pass, pass muster, pay, pay off, peg, pelt, perform as, pitch, pitchfork, play, play second fiddle, point, point to, pour, practice, preconize, present, proceed, proffer, profit, promote, provide, put, put the shot, qualify, rain, rank under, reach, recall, redound to, relate, render, requisition, satisfy, screw, screwball, send after, send for, serve the purpose, service, set, set out, set toward, shell out, shot-put, shoulder a gun, shoulder arms, show a tendency, shower, shy, sinker, sleep with, slider, sling, slip, snap, snow, soldier, spend, spitball, spitter, stand, stand up, stretch, subpoena, subserve, suffice, suit, suit the occasion, summon, summon forth, summon up, summons, supply, survive, take care of, take it, tend, tender, throw, tilt, toss, trend, turn, upcurve, upon, use, valet, verge, vouchsafe, wait, wait on, want, warp, wear the uniform, work, work for, work toward, yield, yield a profit
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