- the armed forces: in the service.
- a branch of the armed forces, as the army or navy: Which service were you in during the war?
- the act or manner of putting the ball or shuttlecock into play; serve.
- the ball or shuttlecock as put into play.
verb (used with object), serv·iced, serv·ic·ing.
Origin of service1
- one of the branches of the armed forces
- (as modifier)service life
- the act, manner, or right of serving a ball
- the game in which a particular player serveshe has lost his service Often shortened to: serve
Word Origin for service
c.1100, "celebration of public worship," from Old French servise "act of homage; servitude; service at table; Mass, church ceremony," from Latin servitium "slavery, condition of a slave, servitude," also "slaves collectively," from servus "slave" (see serve (v.)).
Meaning "act of serving, occupation of an attendant servant" is attested from c.1200, as is that of "assistance, help; a helpful act." From c.1300 as "provision of food; sequence of dishes served in a meal;" from late 14c. as "service at table, attendance during a meal." Meaning "the furniture of the table" (tea service, etc.) is from mid-15c.
Meanings "state of being bound to undertake tasks for someone or at someone's direction; labor performed or undertaken for another" are mid-13c. Sense of "service or employment in a court or administration" is from c.1300, as is that of "military service (especially by a knight); employment as a soldier;" hence "the military as an occupation" (1706).
Also in Middle English "sexual intercourse, conjugal relations" (mid-15c.; service of Venus, or flesh's service). Service industry (as distinct from production) attested from 1938. A service station originally was a gas stop that also repaired cars.
1893, "to provide with service," from service (n.1). Meaning "perform work on" first recorded 1926. Related: Serviced; servicing.
type of tree or berry, extended form of serve (perhaps via Middle English plural serves being taken as a singular), from Old English syrfe, Old French sorbe, both from Vulgar Latin *sorbea, from Latin sorbus (see sorb).
at someone's service
Ready to help someone, at someone's disposal, as in The tour guide said he was at our service for the rest of the afternoon. [Second half of 1600s]
see at someone's service; break someone's serve (service); lip service; of service to someone; press into service.