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.
Origin of serve
Synonyms for serve
Related Words for serveplay, handle, give, provide, distribute, deliver, hit, present, complete, attend, perform, work, accept, pass, follow, do, make, benefit, deal, oblige
Examples from the Web for serve
Contemporary Examples of serve
Placed in drinking water, fluoride can serve people who otherwise have poor access to dental care.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
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’
January 6, 2015
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
December 28, 2014
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
December 25, 2014
But as we are seeing all over the world, one can serve the other.France’s Wave of Crazy-Terror Christmas Attacks
December 24, 2014
Historical Examples of serve
All pursuits that serve to connect the soul with the world whence it came are rejected.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He tried to recall some forgotten detail of the business that might serve to occupy him.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I would have parted with my life willingly, gladly, to serve you.
To serve your friend would have been, I deemed, a labour of love.
There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people.
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)