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 servesplay, handle, give, provide, distribute, deliver, hit, present, complete, attend, perform, work, accept, pass, follow, do, make, benefit, deal, oblige
Examples from the Web for serves
Contemporary Examples of serves
She now serves as an Associate Professor at Colorado State University and has authored several books on autism and animal science.The Most Inspiring Bits of Temple Grandin’s Reddit AMA
November 18, 2014
He has close ties with the city political establishment and serves more than 200 needy families a week through his food bank.Welcome to Assadville, USA
November 11, 2014
Wicca includes ceremony and ritual that serves the union of the divine with nature rather than embracing a personal god.‘Gods of Suburbia’: Dina Goldstein’s Arresting Photo Series on Religion vs. Consumerism
November 8, 2014
It serves as the heart of the collective works, as an interface between the cosmos and humanity.The Tiniest Jackson Pollock
November 5, 2014
The discussion of race in the league just serves to distract from why players misbehave.Ex-NFL Linebacker: We Talk Around Race, Not About It
October 23, 2014
Historical Examples of serves
It serves him right for meddling with matters that don't concern him.Brave and Bold
The first duty of law is to keep sound the society it serves.
But it also serves to bring us finally to the vocabulary of Esmond.De Libris: Prose and Verse
It rather means a home where everything pertaining to it serves His cause.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Ferdinand is the most ambitious man in Europe, false also if it serves his purpose.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
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)