Definition of Serve

1. Noun. (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play. "His powerful serves won the game"

Exact synonyms: Service
Category relationships: Squash, Squash Rackets, Squash Racquets, Badminton, Lawn Tennis, Tennis
Generic synonyms: Tennis Shot, Tennis Stroke
Specialized synonyms: Ace, Fault, Let, Net Ball

2. Verb. Serve a purpose, role, or function. "The table functions as a desk"
Exact synonyms: Function
Related verbs: Service
Generic synonyms: Answer, Do, Suffice
Specialized synonyms: Prelude, Act As
Derivative terms: Function

3. Verb. Do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function. "She served in Congress for two terms"
Specialized synonyms: Sit, Staff, Act, Rotate, Function, Officiate, Caddie, Caddy, Represent
Generic synonyms: Do Work, Work

4. Verb. Contribute or conduce to. "The scandal served to increase his popularity"
Generic synonyms: Effect, Effectuate, Set Up
Related verbs: Serve Well
Specialized synonyms: Facilitate, Help

5. Verb. Be used by; as of a utility. "The garage served to shelter his horses"
Exact synonyms: Service
Generic synonyms: Function, Go, Operate, Run, Work
Related verbs: Function
Derivative terms: Service

6. Verb. Help to some food; help with food or drink. "Sam cannot serve Sue "; "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
Exact synonyms: Help
Related verbs: Dish, Dish Out, Dish Up, Serve Up
Generic synonyms: Cater, Ply, Provide, Supply
Derivative terms: Helping, Server, Server, Serving

7. Verb. Provide (usually but not necessarily food). "The chefs serve the vegetables"; "The entertainers served up a lively show"
Exact synonyms: Dish, Dish Out, Dish Up, Serve Up
Specialized synonyms: Plank
Related verbs: Help
Generic synonyms: Cater, Ply, Provide, Supply
Derivative terms: Dish, Dish, Dish

8. Verb. Devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas. "Serve the country"
Generic synonyms: Work
Related verbs: Assist, Attend, Attend To, Wait On

9. Verb. Promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to. "The President's wisdom has served the country well"
Exact synonyms: Serve Well
Generic synonyms: Foster, Nurture
Derivative terms: Servant

10. Verb. Spend time in prison or in a labor camp. "He did six years for embezzlement"
Exact synonyms: Do
Specialized synonyms: Admit
Generic synonyms: Pass, Spend

11. Verb. Work for or be a servant to. "Sam cannot serve Sue "; "The minister served the King for many years"
Exact synonyms: Assist, Attend, Attend To, Wait On
Specialized synonyms: Valet, Fag
Generic synonyms: Aid, Assist, Help
Derivative terms: Assist, Attendant, Attender, Servant, Servitor

12. Verb. Deliver a warrant or summons to someone. "He was processed by the sheriff"
Exact synonyms: Process, Swear Out
Specialized synonyms: Subpoena, Rinse, Wash
Generic synonyms: Deliver
Derivative terms: Process

13. Verb. Be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity. "Nothing else will serve"

14. Verb. Do military service. "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
Generic synonyms: Do Work, Work

15. Verb. Mate with. "Male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
Exact synonyms: Service
Specialized synonyms: Stand
Generic synonyms: Copulate, Couple, Mate, Pair
Derivative terms: Service, Servicing

16. Verb. Put the ball into play. "It was Agassi's turn to serve"
Category relationships: Court Game
Generic synonyms: Go, Move
Specialized synonyms: Ace
Derivative terms: Server

Definition of Serve

1. 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.

2. 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.

Definition of Serve

1. Noun. (sports) the act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games ¹

2. Noun. (Australia) A portion of food, a serving ¹

3. Verb. (transitive) To be a formal servant for (a god or deity); to worship in an official capacity. (defdate from 12th c.) ¹

4. Verb. (transitive) To be a servant for; to work for, to be employed by. (defdate from 13th c.) ¹

5. Verb. (transitive) To wait upon (someone) at table; to set food and drink in front of, to help (someone) to food, meals etc. (defdate from 13th c.) ¹

6. Verb. (transitive archaic) To treat (someone) in a given manner. (defdate from 13th c.) ¹

7. Verb. (intransitive) To be a servant or worker; to perform the duties of a servant or employee; to render service. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

8. Verb. (transitive archaic) To be suitor to; to be the lover of. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

9. Verb. (transitive) To be useful to; to meet the needs of. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

10. Verb. (intransitive) To have a given use or purpose; to function (term for) something or ''to do'' something. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

11. Verb. (intransitive) To usefully take the place (term as), (term instead) ''of'' something else. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

12. Verb. (transitive) To set down (food or drink) on the table to be eaten; to bring (food, drink) to a person. (defdate from 15th c.) ¹

13. Verb. (transitive legal) To officially deliver (a legal notice, summons etc.). (defdate from 15th c.) ¹

14. Verb. (transitive legal) To make legal service upon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.) ¹

15. Verb. (intransitive) To be in military service. (defdate from 16th c.) ¹

16. Verb. (transitive intransitive sports) To lead off with the first delivery over the net in tennis, volleyball, ping pong, badminton etc. (defdate from 16th c.) ¹

17. Verb. (transitive) To copulate with (of male animals); to cover. (defdate from 16th c.) ¹

18. Verb. (transitive military) To work, to operate (a weapon). (defdate from 18th c.) ¹

19. Verb. (transitive) To work through (a given period of time in prison, a sentence). (defdate from 19th c.) ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Serve

1. to work for [v SERVED, SERVING, SERVES]

Medical Definition of Serve

1. 1. To work for; to labour 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. "God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit." (Rom. I. 9) "Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter." (Gen. Xxix. 18) "No man can serve two masters." (Matt. Vi. 24) "Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age Have left me naked to mine enemies." (Shak) 2. To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to. "Bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright." (Milton) 3. To be suitor to; to profess love to. "To serve a lady in his beste wise." (Chaucer) 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. "Others, pampered in their shameless pride, Are served in plate and in their chariots ride." (Dryden) 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. "Bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner." (Shak) "Some part he roasts, then serves it up so dressed." (Dryde) 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. "Turn it into some advantage, by observing where it can serve another end." (Jer. Taylor) 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. To make legal service opon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc); as, to serve a witness with a subpoena. 12. To pass or spend, as time, especially. Time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison. 13. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; said of the male. 14. To lead off in delivering (the ball). 15. 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 Serving. To serve an attachment or a writ of attachment, to read it to the defendant, or to leave an attested copy at his usual place of abode. To serve one out, to retaliate upon; to requite. "I'll serve you out for this." . To serve one right, to treat, or cause to befall one, according to his deserts; used commonly of ill deserts; as, it serves the scoundrel right; To serve one's self of, to avail one's self of; to make use of. "I will serve myself of this concession." (Chillingworth) To serve out, to distribute; as, to serve out rations. To serve the time or the hour, to regulate one's actions by the requirements of the time instead of by one's duty; to be a timeserver. "They think herein we serve the time, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment." (Hooker) Synonym: To obey, minister to, subserve, promote, aid, help, assist, benefit, succor. Origin: 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. Conserve, Desert merit, Dessert, Observe, Serf, Sergeant. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Serve Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Serve

servant's entrance
servant girl
servants' quarters
serve (current term)
serve out
serve somebody right
serve time
serve up
serve well
served time

Literary usage of Serve

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, Felix Emmanuel Schelling (1903)
"No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk; Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things I shall digest it. Jessica. Well, I'll set you forth. ..."

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