1 to be in the service of (a person)
2 to render or be of service to (a person, cause, etc.); help
3 (in a shop) to give (customers) information about articles for sale and to hand over articles purchased
4 tr to provide (guests, customers, etc.) with food, drink, etc.
she served her guests with cocktails
5 to distribute or provide (food, drink, etc.) for guests, customers, etc.
do you serve coffee?
6 tr; sometimes foll by: up to present (food, drink, etc.) in a specified manner
cauliflower served with cheese sauce
7 tr to provide with a regular supply of
8 tr to work actively for
to serve the government
9 tr to pay homage to
to serve God
10 to answer the requirements of; suit
this will serve my purpose
11 intr; may take an infinitive to have a use; function
this wood will serve to build a fire
12 to go through (a period of service, enlistment, imprisonment, etc.)
13 intr (of weather, conditions, etc.) to be favourable or suitable
14 tr (Also)
service (of a male animal) to copulate with (a female animal)
15 (Tennis, squash, etc.) to put (the ball) into play
16 intr (R.C. Church) to act as server at Mass or other services
17 tr to deliver (a legal document, esp. a writ or summons) to (a person)
18 to provide (a machine, etc.) with an impulse or signal for control purposes or with a continuous supply of fuel, working material, etc.
19 tr (Nautical) to bind (a rope, spar, etc.) with wire or fine cord to protect it from chafing, etc.
See also →
serve (a person) right
Informal to pay (a person) back, esp. for wrongful or foolish treatment or behaviour
21 (Tennis, squash, etc.) short for →
22 (Austral) a portion or helping of food or drink (C13: from Old French servir, from Latin servire, from servus a slave)
servable, serveable adj
vb tr to serve again