Serve

Definition of Serve

v. t.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.
[imp. & p. p. Served ; p. pr. & vb. n. Serving.]
God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit.
- Rom. i. 9.
No man can serve two masters.
- Matt. vi. 24.
2.To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to.
3.To be suitor to; to profess love to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11.(Law) To bring to notice, deliver, or execute, either actually or constructively, in such manner as the law requires; as, to serve a summons.
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
(Law) to levy it on the person or goods by seizure, or to seize.
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 of abode.
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.
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.
- C. Kingsley.
To serve one's self of
to avail one's self of; to make use of.
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. 3.
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.
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.
- Dryden.
5.(Tennis) To lead off in delivering the ball.

Related Words

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