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Meaning & Definition of Serve in English





1. (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play

  • "His powerful serves won the game"
  • serve,
  • service


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"
  • serve,
  • 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"
  • serve

3. Contribute or conduce to

  • "The scandal served to increase his popularity"
  • serve

4. Be used by

  • As of a utility
  • "The sewage plant served the neighboring communities"
  • "The garage served to shelter his horses"
  • service,
  • serve

5. Help to some food

  • Help with food or drink
  • "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
  • serve,
  • 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"
  • serve,
  • 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"
  • serve

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 country well"
  • serve,
  • serve well

9. Spend time in prison or in a labor camp

  • "He did six years for embezzlement"
  • serve,
  • 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"
  • serve,
  • attend to,
  • wait on,
  • attend,
  • assist

11. Deliver a warrant or summons to someone

  • "He was processed by the sheriff"
  • serve,
  • 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"
  • suffice,
  • do,
  • answer,
  • serve

13. Do military service

  • "She served in vietnam"
  • "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
  • serve

14. Mate with

  • "Male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
  • serve,
  • service

15. Put the ball into play

  • "It was agassi's turn to serve"
  • serve

Examples of using

We want the government to serve the entire population.
I guess this desk will serve the purpose until we can get a new one.
A few seconds ago I was in the open air and the bright daylight, and now my eyes refuse to serve me in this darkness.