• synonyms


  1. acting as part of a servomechanism: servo amplifier.
  2. pertaining to or having to do with servomechanisms: servo engineer.
  3. noting the action of certain mechanisms, as brakes, that are set in operation by other mechanisms but which themselves augment the force of that action by the way in which they operate.
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noun, plural ser·vos.
  1. Informal. servomechanism.
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verb (used with object), ser·voed, ser·vo·ing.
  1. to connect (a mechanism) to another as a servomechanism.
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Origin of servo

1945–50; independent use of servo-, taken as an adj., or shortening of words formed with it


  1. a combining form used in the names of devices or operations that employ a servomechanism: servocontrol.
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Origin of servo-

extracted from servomotor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for servo

Historical Examples

  • A servo mechanism somewhere in the ship started a small motor.

    First on the Moon

    Jeff Sutton

  • He bowed, "Servo suo, Signora Virginia," and opened the door for her.


    Anna Miller Costantini

  • With slow precision he set the servo fixes on the huge gray hulk looming up in the viewer, and then snapped the switches sharply.


    Alan Edward Nourse

  • The servo motors whined a bit as the detector unit came to life and tightened the grasp of the cuffs, limiting his movement.

    The Ethical Engineer

    Henry Maxwell Dempsey

  • Walker says he's got a half dozen mirrors cracked or pitted, and Hoffman on bank three wants you to replace a servo motor.

    All Day September

    Roger Kuykendall

British Dictionary definitions for servo


  1. (prenominal) of, relating to, forming part of, or activated by a servomechanismservo brakes
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noun plural -vos
  1. informal short for servomechanism
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Word Origin

see servomotor


noun plural -vos
  1. Australian informal a service station
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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 servo

1910, from servo-motor (1889), from French servo-moteur (1873), ultimately from Latin servus "slave" (see serve (v.)) + motor "mover" (see motor (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper