serve time

Undergo a prison sentence; also, work at a particular task, especially an undesirable one. For example, We couldn't hire him when we learned that he had served time for robbery, or I applied for a transfer after serving time in that chaotic department. [Late 1800s]


Nearby words

  1. servant,
  2. servant church,
  3. serve,
  4. serve a purpose,
  5. serve one right,
  6. serve up,
  7. served,
  8. server,
  9. servery,
  10. servetian

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.