Definition Definition

serve - Meaning and Examples

Meaning of 'serve' (Webster Dictionary)

1 . Serve [ v. i.]
- 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.
2 . Serve [ v. t.]
- 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.

Meaning of 'serve' (Princeton's WordNet)

1 . serve [ n]
Meaning (1):
- (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play
Example in sentence:
  • his powerful serves won the game
2 . serve [ v]
Meaning (2):
- be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity
Example in sentence:
  • A few words would answer;
  • A `B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school;
  • Nothing else will serve;
  • This car suits my purpose well;
  • Will $100 do?
Meaning (3):
- promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to
Example in sentence:
  • Art serves commerce;
  • The lake serves recreation;
  • The President's wisdom has served the country well;
  • Their interests are served
Meaning (4):
- work for or be a servant to
Example in sentence:
  • Can you wait on our table, please?;
  • Is a salesperson assisting you?;
  • May I serve you?;
  • She attends the old lady in the wheelchair;
  • The minister served the King for many years
Meaning (5):
- spend time in prison or in a labor camp
Example in sentence:
  • He did six years for embezzlement
Meaning (6):
- do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function
Example in sentence:
  • He served as head of the department for three years;
  • She served in Congress for two terms
Meaning (7):
- devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas
Example in sentence:
  • He served the church;
  • serve the country;
  • She served the art of music
Meaning (8):
- deliver a warrant or summons to someone
Example in sentence:
  • He was processed by the sheriff
Meaning (9):
- serve a purpose, role, or function
Example in sentence:
  • His freedom served him well;
  • The female students served as a control group;
  • The table functions as a desk;
  • The tree stump serves as a table;
  • This table would serve very well
Meaning (10):
- help to some food; help with food or drink
Example in sentence:
  • I served him three times, and after that he helped himself
Meaning (11):
- put the ball into play
Example in sentence:
  • It was Agassi's turn to serve
Meaning (12):
- mate with
Example in sentence:
  • male animals serve the females for breeding purposes;
  • male birds tread the females
Meaning (13):
- do military service
Example in sentence:
  • My sons never served, because they are short-sighted;
  • She served in Vietnam
Meaning (14):
- provide (usually but not necessarily food)
Example in sentence:
  • She dished out the soup at 8 P.M.;
  • The entertainers served up a lively show;
  • We serve meals for the homeless
Meaning (15):
- be used by; as of a utility
Example in sentence:
  • The garage served to shelter his horses;
  • The sewage plant served the neighboring communities
Meaning (16):
- contribute or conduce to
Example in sentence:
  • The scandal served to increase his popularity