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Serve Definition


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Other Serve Definition

[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"

Misc. Definitions

\Serve\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [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}.]
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. 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. 1
8. No man can serve two masters. --Matt. vi. 2
4. 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. [Obs.] 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. 1
1. (Law) (a) To bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively, in such manner as the law requires; as, to serve a summons. (b) To make legal service opon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.); as, to serve a witness with a subp[oe]na. 1
2. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison. 1
3. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male. 1
4. (Tennis) To lead off in delivering (the ball). 1
5. (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} or {a writ of 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. ``I'll serve you out for this.'' --C. Kingsley. {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. [A Gallicism] 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. [Obs.] They think herein we serve the time, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment. --Hooker. Syn: To obey; minister to; subserve; promote; aid; help; assist; benefit; succor.
\Serve\, 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.

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