verb (used without object), served, serv·ing.
verb (used with object), served, serv·ing.
- to make legal delivery of (a process or writ).
- to present (a person) with a writ.
- servant church,
- serve a purpose,
- serve one right,
- serve time,
- serve up,
Origin of serve
Examples from the Web for serve
Placed in drinking water, fluoride can serve people who otherwise have poor access to dental care.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice turned herself in to serve a 15-month sentence for bankruptcy fraud.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Serve with the warm sauce and your choice of ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt.Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Sticky Toffee Pudding|Carla Hall|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Krivov was sentenced to serve four years at a general regime penal colony for his fight for freedom and human rights.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015|Movements.Org|December 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But as we are seeing all over the world, one can serve the other.
The cross-head is a small piece of aluminum bronze, running on round guides that also serve as cylinder braces.Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, Parts I and II|S. P. (Samuel Pierpont) Langley and Charles M. (Charles Matthews) Manly
Slip it carefully on a hot dish and serve the instant it comes from the fire.The Story of Crisco|Marion Harris Neil
The defendant's whereabouts were unknown to us, your Honor, and the court allowed us to serve notice by publication.Lightnin'|Frank Bacon
In other times, under other conditions, some pliant and amiable figurehead might serve them well.The Landloper|Holman Day
If he was disqualified from being one of the twelve, he was not debarred from liberty to serve.Studies in the Epistle of James|A. T. Robertson
Word Origin for serve
late 12c., "to render habitual obedience to," also "minister, give aid, give help," from Old French servir "to do duty toward, show devotion to; set table, serve at table; offer, provide with," from Latin servire "be a servant, be in service, be enslaved;" figuratively "be devoted; be governed by; comply with; conform; flatter," originally "be a slave," related to servus "slave," perhaps from Etruscan (cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve, Latinized as Servius).
By c.1200 also as "to be in the service of, perform a service for; attend upon, be personal servant to; be a slave; owe allegiance to; officiate at Mass or other religious rites;" from early 13c. as "set food at table;" mid-14c. as "to wait on (customers)." From late 14c. as "treat (someone or something) in some fashion." To serve (someone) right "to treat as he deserves" is recorded from 1580s.
He no schuld neuer wond
To seruen him fro fot to hond
["Amis and Amiloun," c.1330]
Sense of "be useful, be beneficial, be suitable for a purpose or function" is from early 14c.; that of "take the place or meet the needs of, be equal to the task" is from late 14c.; that of "suffice" is from mid-15c. Meaning "render active military service" is from 1510s. Sporting sense, in tennis, badminton, etc., first recorded 1580s. Legal sense "present" (a writ, warrant,etc.), "give legal notice of" is from early 15c.
1680s, in sports (tennis, etc.), from serve (v.).
In addition to the idioms beginning with serve
- serve a purpose
- serve one right
- serve time
- serve up
- break someone's serve
- first come, first served
- hand to on a silver platter (serve up on a plate)