[ sur-vis ]
See synonyms for service on
  1. an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.

  2. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.

  1. the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.: The manufacturer guarantees service and parts.

  2. the organized system of apparatus, appliances, employees, etc., for supplying some accommodation required by the public: a television repair service.

  3. the supplying or a supplier of public communication and transportation: telephone service;bus service.

  4. the performance of duties or the duties performed as or by a waiter or servant; occupation or employment as a waiter or servant.

  5. employment in any duties or work for a person, organization, government, etc.

  6. a department of public employment, an administrative division of a government, or the body of public servants in it: the diplomatic service.

  7. the duty or work of public servants.

  8. the serving of a sovereign, state, or government in some official capacity.

  9. Military.

    • 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?

  10. Ordnance. the actions required in loading and firing a cannon: service of the piece.

  11. Often services . the performance of any duties or work for another; helpful or professional activity: medical services.

  12. something made or done by a commercial organization for the public benefit and without regard to direct profit: Certain books are published at a loss as a public service.

  13. Also called divine service . public religious worship according to prescribed form and order.

  14. a ritual or form prescribed for public worship or for some particular occasion: the marriage service.

  15. the serving of God by obedience, piety, etc.: voluntary service.

  16. a musical setting of the sung portions of a liturgy.

  17. a set of dishes, utensils, etc., for general table use or for particular use: a tea service;service for eight.

  18. Law. the serving of a process or writ upon a person.

  19. Nautical. tarred spun yarn or other small stuff for covering the exterior of a rope.

  20. (in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.)

    • the act or manner of putting the ball or shuttlecock into play; serve.

    • the ball or shuttlecock as put into play.

  21. the mating of a female animal with the male.

  1. of service; useful.

  2. of, relating to, or used by servants, delivery people, etc., or in serving food: service stairs;the service pieces in a set of dishes.

  1. supplying aids or services rather than products or goods: Medicine is one of the service professions.

  2. supplying maintenance and repair: He operates a service center for electrical appliances.

  3. of, for, or pertaining to the armed forces of a country or one of them: a service academy.

  4. charged for providing service: a service fee of 15 percent on the restaurant check.

  5. providing, authorizing, or guaranteeing service: a service industry;a service contract.

verb (used with object),serv·iced, serv·ic·ing.
  1. to make fit for use; repair; restore to condition for service: to service an automobile.

  2. to supply with aid, information, or other incidental services.

  1. (of a male animal) to mate with (a female animal).

  2. Finance. to pay off (a debt) over a period of time, as by meeting periodic interest payments.

Idioms about service

  1. at someone's service, ready to be of help or use to someone; at one's disposal: You will have an English-speaking guide at your service.

  2. be of service, to be helpful or useful: If we can be of service, do not hesitate to call.

Origin of service

First recorded before 1100; Middle English (noun), from Old French, from Latin servitium “servitude,” equivalent to serv(us) “slave” + -itium noun suffix (see -ice); replacing Middle English servise, late Old English serfise “ceremony,” from Old French servise, variant of service

Other words from service

  • un·serv·iced, adjective

Words Nearby service

Other definitions for service (2 of 3)

[ sur-vis ]

  1. a European or North American service tree, especially Sorbus domestica.

Origin of service

First recorded in 1520–30; earlier serves, plural of obsolete serve “service tree”; Middle English; Old English syrfe, from unattested Vulgar Latin sorbea, derivative of Latin sorbus sorb1

Other definitions for Service (3 of 3)

[ sur-vis ]

  1. Robert W(illiam), 1874–1958, Canadian writer, born in England. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use service in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for service (1 of 3)


/ (ˈsɜːvɪs) /

  1. an act of help or assistance

  2. an organized system of labour and material aids used to supply the needs of the public: telephone service; bus service

  1. the supply, installation, or maintenance of goods carried out by a dealer

  2. the state of availability for use by the public (esp in the phrases into or out of service)

  3. a periodic overhaul made on a car, machine, etc

  4. the act or manner of serving guests, customers, etc, in a shop, hotel, restaurant, etc

  5. a department of public employment and its employees: civil service

  6. employment in or performance of work for another: he has been in the service of our firm for ten years

  7. the work of a public servant

    • one of the branches of the armed forces

    • (as modifier): service life

  8. the state, position, or duties of a domestic servant (esp in the phrase in service)

  9. the act or manner of serving food

  10. a complete set of dishes, cups, etc, for use at table

  11. public worship carried out according to certain prescribed forms: divine service

  12. the prescribed form according to which a specific kind of religious ceremony is to be carried out: the burial service

  13. a unified collection of musical settings of the canticles and other liturgical items prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer as used in the Church of England

  14. sport

    • the act, manner, or right of serving a ball

    • the game in which a particular player serves: he has lost his service Often shortened to: serve

  15. (in feudal law) the duty owed by a tenant to his lord

  16. the serving of a writ, summons, etc, upon a person

  17. nautical a length of tarred marline or small stuff used in serving

  18. (of male animals) the act of mating

  19. (modifier) of, relating to, or for the use of servants or employees

  20. (modifier) serving the public rather than producing goods

  1. to provide service or services

  2. to make fit for use

  1. to supply with assistance

  2. to overhaul (a car, machine, etc)

  3. (of a male animal) to mate with (a female)

  4. British to meet interest and capital payments on (debt)

Origin of service

C12 servise, from Old French, from Latin servitium condition of a slave, from servus a slave

British Dictionary definitions for service (2 of 3)


/ (ˈsɜːvɪs) /


British Dictionary definitions for Service (3 of 3)


/ ('sɜːvɪs) /

  1. Robert (William). 1874–1958, Canadian poet, born in England; noted for his ballad-like poems of gold-rush era Yukon, such as 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew'; his books include Songs of a Sourdough (1907)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with service


see at someone's service; break someone's serve (service); lip service; of service to someone; press into service.

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