[n] a stroke (in tennis or badminton or squash) that puts the ball in play; "his powerful serves won the game"
[v] put the ball into play; as in games like tennis; "It was Agassi's turn to serve"
[v] 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"
[v] 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"
[v] help to some food; help with food or drink; "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
[v] mate with; "male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
[v] deliver a warrant or summons to someone; "He was processed by the sheriff"
[v] do military service; "She served in Vietnam"; "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
[v] 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"
[v] be used by; as of a utility; "The sewage plant served the neighboring communities"; "The garage served to shelter his horses"
[v] 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"
[v] 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"
[v] contribute or conduce to; "The scandal served to increase his popularity"
[v] 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 counrty well"
[v] 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"
[v] spend time in prison or in a labor camp; "He did six years for embezzlement"
answer, assist, attend, attend to, dish, dish out, dish up, do, process, serve up, service, service, service, suffice, swear out, wait on