[ sur-vee-et ]
/ ˌsɜr viˈɛt /

noun Chiefly British.

a table napkin.


Origin of serviette

1480–90; < Middle French, equivalent to servi(r) to serve + -ette -ette; for the formation, cf. oubliette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for serviette

British Dictionary definitions for serviette


/ (ˌsɜːvɪˈɛt) /


mainly British a small square of cloth or paper used while eating to protect the clothes, wipe the mouth and hands, etc

Word Origin for serviette

C15: from Old French, from servir to serve; formed on the model of oubliette
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

Word Origin and History for serviette



"table napkin," late 15c., from Middle French serviette "napkin, towel" (14c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from past participle of servir "to serve" (see serve (v.)). Primarily Scottish at first; re-introduced from French 1818.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper