Definition and Meanings for serve

·This dictionary definitions come from open dictionary GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
·The meaning of a word in English varies according to its part of speech , for this reason the different meanings are ordered by their part of speech.
·It is a very easy to use dictionary , very well structured that will allow you to solve all your doubts on any word and you also will deepen the knowledge of the English language.


Serve is ranked 19,851 in the ranking of most used words in English

Part of Speech of serve

transitive verb, imperfect, past participle, present participle, verbal noun, intransitive verb

Etymology of serve

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

Meaning of serve


as transitive verb, imperfect, past participle, present participle, verbal noun

  • 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.
  • to be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to.
  • to be suitor to; to profess love to.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • to contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn.
  • to answer or be (in the place of something) to; as, a sofa serves one for a seat and a couch.
  • to treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act toward; as, he served me very ill.
  • to work; to operate; as, to serve the guns.
  • 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 subp.
  • to pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison.
  • to copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male.
  • to lead off in delivering (the ball).
  • 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.

as intransitive verb

  • 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.
  • to perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
  • 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.
  • to be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable.
  • to lead off in delivering the ball.
  • No antonyms for serve

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