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[sur-ver] /ˈsɜr vər/
a person who serves.
a person who waits on tables; a waiter or waitress.
something that serves or is used in serving, as a salver.
a broad fork, spoon, or spatula for dishing out and serving individual portions of food, as vegetables, cake, or pie.
Ecclesiastical. an attendant on the priest at Mass, who arranges the altar, makes the responses, etc.
(in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.) the player who puts the ball or shuttlecock in play.
a computer that makes services, as access to data files, programs, and peripheral devices, available to workstations on a network.
Compare client (def 5), file server.
Origin of server
1350-1400; Middle English; see serve, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for servers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes, but if it is all the work of these helpers and servers—?

    The Master Builder Henrik Ibsen
  • The servers and disservers went to their work of clearing the board.

    The Fifth Queen Crowned Ford Madox Ford
  • To sow the place with pickpockets, to get at my cashiers, my commissionaires, and my servers.

    Hugo Arnold Bennett
  • Amongst the other weekly officials may be noted the servers and the reader at meals.

    English Monastic Life Abbot Gasquet
  • The waiters and cooks and busboys were humans, not the autocookers and servers that most restaurants employed.

    The Dueling Machine Benjamin William Bova
British Dictionary definitions for servers


a person who serves
(mainly RC Church) a person who acts as acolyte or assists the priest at Mass
something that is used in serving food and drink
the player who serves in racket games
(computing) a computer or program that supplies data or resources to other machines on a network
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
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Word Origin and History for servers



late 14c., agent noun from serve (v.). Computer sense by 1992.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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servers in Science
A computer that manages centralized data storage or network communications resources. A server provides and organizes access to these resources for other computers linked to it.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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servers in Culture

server definition

Computer or software that performs administration or coordination functions within a network.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for servers



: As many as 10 ''servers,'' slang for dealers, worked out of the Keefe house (1990s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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servers in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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