- the serving of oneself in a restaurant, shop, gas station, or other facility, without the aid of a waiter, clerk, attendant, etc.
- noting or pertaining to a cafeteria, grocery, store, etc., designed for the patron or customer to gather food or merchandise from a display or display shelves without the aid of attendants and pay at a cashier's desk upon leaving.
- of, for, or pertaining to something designed to be used or enjoyed without the aid of an attendant: self-service banking; self-service elevators.
Origin of self-service
First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for self-service
He came in, employing the self-service, picked up—let's see, cinnamon rolls—you said?Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15)
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Each suite is furnished appropriately; each is fully Gunthered for self-service.The Galaxy Primes
Edward Elmer Smith
- of or denoting a shop, restaurant, petrol station, etc, where the customer serves himself
- the practice of serving oneself, as in a shop, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for self-service
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper