[syn: serve, service]
15. put the ball into play;
- Example: "It was Agassi's turn to serve"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Serve \Serve\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Served; p. pr. & vb. n.
Serving.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L.
servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to
protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva
protecting. Cf. Conserve, Desert merit, Dessert,
Observe, Serf, Sergeant.]
1. To work for; to labor in behalf of; to exert one's self
continuously or statedly for the benefit of; to do service
for; to be in the employment of, as an inferior, domestic,
serf, slave, hired assistant, official helper, etc.;
specifically, in a religious sense, to obey and worship.
God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit.
--Rom. i. 9.
Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee
seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. --Gen.
No man can serve two masters. --Matt. vi.
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies. --Shak.
2. To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to
appear as the inferior of; to minister to.
Bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright. --Milton.
3. To be suitor to; to profess love to. [Obs.]
To serve a lady in his beste wise. --Chaucer.
4. To wait upon; to supply the wants of; to attend;
specifically, to wait upon at table; to attend at meals;
to supply with food; as, to serve customers in a shop.
Others, pampered in their shameless pride,
Are served in plate and in their chariots ride.
5. Hence, to bring forward, arrange, deal, or distribute, as
a portion of anything, especially of food prepared for
eating; -- often with up; formerly with in.
Bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we
will come in to dinner. --Shak.
Some part he roasts, then serves it up so dressed.
6. To perform the duties belonging to, or required in or for;
hence, to be of use to; as, a curate may serve two
churches; to serve one's country.
7. To contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient
for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn.
Turn it into some advantage, by observing where it
can serve another end. --Jer. Taylor.
8. To answer or be (in the place of something) to; as, a sofa
serves one for a seat and a couch.
9. To treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act
toward; as, he served me very ill.
10. To work; to operate; as, to serve the guns.
(a) To bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either
actually or constructively, in such manner as the law
requires; as, to serve a summons.
(b) To make legal service opon (a person named in a writ,
summons, etc.); as, to serve a witness with a
12. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as,
to serve a term in prison.
13. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; --
said of the male.
14. (Tennis) To lead off in delivering (the ball).
15. (Naut.) To wind spun yarn, or the like, tightly around (a
rope or cable, etc.) so as to protect it from chafing or
from the weather. See under Serving.
To serve an attachment or To serve a writ of attachment
(Law), to levy it on the person or goods by seizure, or to
To serve an execution (Law), to levy it on a lands, goods,
or person, by seizure or taking possession.
To serve an office, to discharge a public duty.
To serve a process (Law), in general, to read it, so as to
give due notice to the party concerned, or to leave an
attested copy with him or his attorney, or his usual place
To serve a warrant, to read it, and seize the person
against whom it is issued.
To serve a writ (Law), to read it to the defendant, or to
leave an attested copy at his usual place of abode.
To serve one out, to retaliate upon; to requite. "I'll
serve you out for this." --C. Kingsley.
To serve one right, to treat, or cause to befall one,
according to his deserts; -- used commonly of ill deserts;
as, it serves the scoundrel right.
To serve one's self of, to avail one's self of; to make use
of. [A Gallicism]
I will serve myself of this concession.
To serve out, to distribute; as, to serve out rations.
To serve the time or To serve the hour, to regulate one's
actions by the requirements of the time instead of by
one's duty; to be a timeserver. [Obs.]
They think herein we serve the time, because thereby
we either hold or seek preferment. --Hooker.
Syn: To obey; minister to; subserve; promote; aid; help;
assist; benefit; succor.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Serve \Serve\, v. i.
1. To be a servant or a slave; to be employed in labor or
other business for another; to be in subjection or
bondage; to render menial service.
The Lord shall give thee rest . . . from the hard
bondage wherein thou wast made to serve. --Isa. xiv.
2. To perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household
affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
But Martha . . . said, Lord, dost thou not care that
my sister hath left me to serve alone? --Luke x. 40.
3. To be in service; to do duty; to discharge the
requirements of an office or employment. Specifically, to
act in the public service, as a soldier, seaman. etc.
Many . . . who had before been great commanders, but
now served as private gentlemen without pay.
4. To be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to
be convenient or favorable.
This little brand will serve to light your fire.
As occasion serves, this noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply. --Shak.
5. (Tennis) To lead off in delivering the ball.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play; "his powerful
serves won the game" [syn: serve, service]
v 1: serve a purpose, role, or function; "The tree stump serves
as a table"; "The female students served as a control
group"; "This table would serve very well"; "His freedom
served him well"; "The table functions as a desk" [syn:
2: do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function; "He
served as head of the department for three years"; "She
served in Congress for two terms"
3: contribute or conduce to; "The scandal served to increase his
4: be used by; as of a utility; "The sewage plant served the
neighboring communities"; "The garage served to shelter his
horses" [syn: service, serve]
5: help to some food; help with food or drink; "I served him
three times, and after that he helped himself" [syn: serve,
6: provide (usually but not necessarily food); "We serve meals
for the homeless"; "She dished out the soup at 8 P.M."; "The
entertainers served up a lively show" [syn: serve, serve
up, dish out, dish up, dish]
7: devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries,
institutions, or ideas; "She served the art of music"; "He
served the church"; "serve the country"
8: promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to; "Art serves
commerce"; "Their interests are served"; "The lake serves
recreation"; "The President's wisdom has served the country
well" [syn: serve, serve well]
9: spend time in prison or in a labor camp; "He did six years
for embezzlement" [syn: serve, do]
10: work for or be a servant to; "May I serve you?"; "She
attends the old lady in the wheelchair"; "Can you wait on
our table, please?"; "Is a salesperson assisting you?"; "The
minister served the King for many years" [syn: serve,
attend to, wait on, attend, assist]
11: deliver a warrant or summons to someone; "He was processed
by the sheriff" [syn: serve, process, swear out]
12: be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity;
"A few words would answer"; "This car suits my purpose
well"; "Will $100 do?"; "A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get
me into medical school"; "Nothing else will serve" [syn:
suffice, do, answer, serve]
13: do military service; "She served in Vietnam"; "My sons never
served, because they are short-sighted"
14: mate with; "male animals serve the females for breeding
purposes" [syn: serve, service]
15: put the ball into play; "It was Agassi's turn to serve"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
319 Moby Thesaurus words for "serve":
accommodate, accord, act, act as, act for, administer,
administer to, advance, advantage, afford, allot, allow, answer,
answer for, assist, attend, attend on, attend to, avail, award,
ball, be OK, be correct, be equal to, be found wanting, be handy,
be inferior, be instrumental, be intimate, be of use, be right,
bear, bear arms, befit, befitting, behave, bend to, benefit,
bestead, bestow, bestow on, bias, bid come, bowl, break no bones,
call, call away, call back, call for, call forth, call in,
call out, call together, call up, care for, carry arms, cast,
catapult, cater to, change of pace, change-up, chore, chuck, chunk,
cite, cohabit, come short, come together, commit adultery,
communicate, complete, conduce, confer, conjure, conjure up,
contribute, convene, convoke, copulate, couple, cover, curve,
dance attendance upon, dart, dash, deal, deal out, demand, diddle,
dish out, dish up, dispense, dispose, distribute, do,
do active duty, do duty, do for, do good, do it, do no harm,
do service to, do the job, do the trick, dole, dole out, donate,
downcurve, drudge, endure, evoke, extend, facilitate, fail,
fall short, fastball, favor, fight for, fill the bill, fire, fit,
fling, flip, follow, fork, fork out, fornicate, forward,
forward pass, frig, fulfill, function, function as, get by, gift,
gift with, give, give freely, give good returns, give out, go,
go around, go between, go through, grant, gratify, hack it,
hand out, have a tendency, have nothing on, have sex,
have sexual relations, head, heap, heave, help, help to, hold,
hurl, hurtle, impart, incline, incurve, indent, invoke, issue,
jerk, just do, knuckleball, lackey, lance, last, lateral,
lateral pass, launch, lavish, lay, lead, lean, let fly, let have,
lie with, lob, look after, look to, maid, make, make available,
make it with, make love, make out, make the grade, mate, mediate,
meet, meet requirements, mete, mete out, minister to, mount, move,
muster, muster up, not approach, not come amiss, not come near,
not compare, not fail, not hack it, not make it, not measure up,
oblige, offer, officiate, operate, order up, outcurve, page,
pander to, pass, pass muster, pay, pay off, peg, pelt, perform as,
pitch, pitchfork, play, play second fiddle, point, point to, pour,
practice, preconize, present, proceed, proffer, profit, promote,
provide, put, put the shot, qualify, rain, rank under, reach,
recall, redound to, relate, render, requisition, satisfy, screw,
screwball, send after, send for, serve the purpose, service, set,
set out, set toward, shell out, shot-put, shoulder a gun,
shoulder arms, show a tendency, shower, shy, sinker, sleep with,
slider, sling, slip, snap, snow, soldier, spend, spitball, spitter,
stand, stand up, stretch, subpoena, subserve, suffice, suit,
suit the occasion, summon, summon forth, summon up, summons,
supply, survive, take care of, take it, tend, tender, throw, tilt,
toss, trend, turn, upcurve, upon, use, valet, verge, vouchsafe,
wait, wait on, want, warp, wear the uniform, work, work for,
work toward, yield, yield a profit
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
To be a server, to provide a service.
E.g., "The shttpd serves requested documents to clients over
a secure link."