- to be useful or instrumental in promoting (a purpose, action, etc.): Light exercise subserves digestion.
- Obsolete. to serve as a subordinate.
Origin of subserve
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for subserve
There were higher crimes they might attain to, and grander interests they might subserve.Tony Butler
Charles James Lever
Such records may, in various ways, subserve the cause of emancipation.
The former includes all structure that is adapted to subserve some function.Form and Function
E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
But I'm willing you should use my name, darling, to subserve your timidity.Eventide
Let it be shown that barbarism ought not to subserve civilization.The Right of American Slavery
True Worthy Hoit
- to be helpful or useful to
- obsolete to be subordinate to
C17: from Latin subservīre to be subject to, from sub- + servīre to serve
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