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[sur-vuh-suh-buh l] /ˈsɜr və sə bəl/
capable of or being of service; useful.
wearing well; durable:
serviceable cloth.
capable of being used, worn, cleaned, repaired, etc., easily.
Origin of serviceable
1300-50; service1 + -able; replacing Middle English servisable < Middle French
Related forms
serviceability, serviceableness, noun
serviceably, adverb
nonserviceability, noun
nonserviceable, adjective
nonserviceableness, noun
nonserviceably, adverb
unserviceable, adjective
unserviceableness, noun
unserviceably, adverb
1. effective, usable, functional. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for serviceable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And, finally, she looked about for serviceable acquaintances.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Holloway had hitherto been a serviceable tool of the government.

  • With a short length of old hose, a serviceable lawn sprinkler can be quickly and easily made.

  • He was good at a dinner-table, serviceable with a gun, and always happy on horseback.

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • serviceable hacks, warranted to work a lifetime, could not be expected to be ornamental as well as useful.

    The Moon Rock Arthur J. Rees
  • I don't know why I should always be selected to be serviceable.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • The room was not large; it couldnt be very big on a starship, but it was serviceable.

    The Sex Life of the Gods Michael Knerr
British Dictionary definitions for serviceable


capable of or ready for service; usable
capable of giving good service; durable
(archaic) diligent in service
Derived Forms
serviceability, serviceableness, noun
serviceably, adverb
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 serviceable

"ready to do service," early 14c., from Old French servicable, from servise (see service (n.1)). Related: Serviceability.

Edgar: I know thee well: a serviceable villain,
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
As badness would desire.
["King Lear," Act IV, Scene vi]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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