- servile work,
- servius tullius,
Origin of serving
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
Examples from the Web for serving
Veterans are a small minority of the population, as well, serving the greater whole.A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall|Matt Gallagher|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips.Aging Cuban Exiles And Their Lawmakers Bypassed by White House|Romina Ruiz-Goiriena|December 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Brown had been serving a life sentence; McCollum had been on Death Row.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities|Elizabeth Picciuto|December 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The policies that followed were not serving democratic demands.
In the West Bank, serving time in Israeli jails is a badge of honor.Palestinian Cabinet Member Dies in Confrontation with Israeli Soldier|Creede Newton|December 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The flagrant impossibility of its serving any other purpose, had preserved it in its pristine splendor.The Real Adventure|Henry Kitchell Webster
Of course, the real force of the aim lies in its serving as the focus of thought.Principles of Teaching|Adam S. Bennion
Stranger still, this regiment is the same as that in which poor Anastasius is serving—the Royal Picts.The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood|Arthur Griffiths
He was studious of serving his country to the very last, and the sorrow of the people seemed equal to his assiduity.Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome|Oliver Goldsmith
On that day he was responsible for the dinner,—the cooking, catering, buying and serving.Days of the Discoverers|L. Lamprey
Word Origin for serve
"action of serving," c.1200, verbal noun from serve (v.). As "a helping of food" from 1769.
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)