Definition of Serve

v. t.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.
[imp. & p. p. Served ; p. pr. & vb. n. Serving.]
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.(Law) 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 pass or spend, as time, esp. 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.(Tennis) To lead off in delivering (the ball).
15.(Naut.) 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 serve an attachment
(Law) to levy it on the person or goods by seizure, or to seize.
To serve an execution
(Law) to levy it on a lands, goods, or person, by seizure or taking possession.
To serve an office
to discharge a public duty.
To serve a process
(Law) in general, to read it, so as to give due notice to the party concerned, or to leave an attested copy with him or his attorney, or his usual place of abode.
To serve a warrant
to read it, and seize the person against whom it is issued.
To serve a writ
(Law) 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.
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.
- C. Kingsley.
To serve one's self of
to avail one's self of; to make use of.
I will serve myself of this concession.
- Chillingworth.
v. i.1.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.
The Lord shall give thee rest . . . from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.
- Isa. xiv. 3.
2.To perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
But Martha . . . said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
- Luke x. 40.
3.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.
Many . . . who had before been great commanders, but now served as private gentlemen without pay.
- Knolles.
4.To be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable.
This little brand will serve to light your fire.
- Dryden.
As occasion serves, this noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
- Shak.
5.(Tennis) To lead off in delivering the ball.

Related Words

accommodate, accord, act, act as, act for, administer, administer to, advantage, afford, allot, allow, answer for, 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, 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, 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 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, provide, put, put the shot, qualify, rain, rank under, reach, recall, redound to, relate, render, requisition, 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, suit, suit the occasion, summon, summon forth, summon up, summons, survive, take care of, take it, tend, tender, throw, tilt, toss, trend, turn, upcurve, upon, use, valet, verge, vouchsafe, wait, want, warp, wear the uniform, work, work for, work toward, yield, yield a profit


Serum albumin
Serum globulin
Serum of milk
Servant of servants
Service berry
Service book
Service cap
Service elevator
Service entrance
Service line
Service of a writ
Service of an attachment
Service of an execution
Service pipe
Service station
service tree
Service uniform
Servient tenement
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

© 2014 Delaflex, Inc.Dictionary Home | Privacy Policy