Serve
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. [1913 Webster]

God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit. --Rom. i. 9. [1913 Webster]

Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. --Gen. xxix. 18. [1913 Webster]

No man can serve two masters. --Matt. vi. 24. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

2. To be subordinate to; to act a secondary part under; to appear as the inferior of; to minister to. [1913 Webster]

Bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. To be suitor to; to profess love to. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

To serve a lady in his beste wise. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Others, pampered in their shameless pride, Are served in plate and in their chariots ride. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Some part he roasts, then serves it up so dressed. --Dryde. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

7. To contribute or conduce to; to promote; to be sufficient for; to satisfy; as, to serve one's turn. [1913 Webster]

Turn it into some advantage, by observing where it can serve another end. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

8. To answer or be (in the place of something) to; as, a sofa serves one for a seat and a couch. [1913 Webster]

9. To treat; to behave one's self to; to requite; to act toward; as, he served me very ill. [1913 Webster]

10. To work; to operate; as, to serve the guns. [1913 Webster]

11. (Law) (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 subp[oe]na. [1913 Webster]

12. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison. [1913 Webster]

13. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male. [1913 Webster]

14. (Tennis) To lead off in delivering (the ball). [1913 Webster]

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}. [1913 Webster]

{To serve an attachment} or {To serve a writ of 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. ``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] [1913 Webster]

I will serve myself of this concession. --Chillingworth. [1913 Webster]

{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.] [1913 Webster]

They think herein we serve the time, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To obey; minister to; subserve; promote; aid; help; assist; benefit; succor. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • serve — → serf ● serf, serve adjectif (latin servus, esclave) Relatif à l état des serfs : Des hommes de condition serve. Littéraire. Qui fait preuve d une soumission complète à l égard d autrui. ● serf, serve (homonymes) adjectif (latin servus, esclave) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • serve — [sɜːv ǁ sɜːrv] verb 1. [transitive] COMMERCE to supply customers with a particular product or service or with something they need: • The firm plans to open a London office to serve clients with investments and businesses in Europe. • JAL Group… …   Financial and business terms

  • serve — [sʉrv] vt. served, serving [ME serven < OFr servir < L servire, to serve < servus, servant, slave: see SERF] 1. to work for as a servant 2. a) to do services or duties for; give service to; aid; assist; help b) to give obedience and… …   English World dictionary

  • serve — vt served, serv·ing 1: to deliver, publish, or execute (notice or process) as required by law no notice of any such request was ever served on the husband National Law Journal 2: to make legal service upon (the person named in a process): inform… …   Law dictionary

  • serve — late 12c., to render habitual obedience to, from O.Fr. servir to serve, from L. servire to serve, originally be a slave, related to servus slave, perhaps from an Etruscan word (Cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve). Meaning to attend to (a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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. [1913 Webster] The Lord shall give thee rest . . . from the hard bondage wherein thou… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serve — ► VERB 1) perform duties or services for. 2) be employed as a member of the armed forces. 3) spend (a period) in office, in an apprenticeship, or in prison. 4) present food or drink to. 5) attend to (a customer in a shop). 6) be of use in… …   English terms dictionary

  • serve — [v1] aid, help; supply arrange, assist, attend to, be of assistance, be of use, care for, deal, deliver, dish up*, distribute, do for, give, handle, hit, minister to, nurse, oblige, play, present, provide, provision, set out, succor, wait on,… …   New thesaurus

  • Serve — may refer to: * Serve (tennis) * Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment * Providing a non material good, as in the work of a servant * Supplying customers with food and drink, as in the work of a food server * Delivering a legal or… …   Wikipedia

  • Serve — Aucun rapport avec le servage, c est tout simplement une variante de Selva, Selve (= bois, forêt). Le nom est surtout porté dans la Drôme et les départements voisins (42, 69) …   Noms de famille

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