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serve

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English

Etymology

From Middle English serven < Middle French servir < Old French < [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] servire "to be a slave, to serve" < [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] servus "slave, servant".

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
serve

Plural
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serve ({{{1}}})
  1. (sports) the act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games
    Whose serve is it?
  2. (US) A portion of food, a serving

Synonyms

  • (sports: act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play): service
  • (US: portion of food): See serving

Translations

US: portion of food

See serving

Verb

Infinitive
to serve

Third person singular
serv

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
ing

to serve (third-person singular simple present serv, present participle ing, simple past and past participle -)
  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.
  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.
  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. 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 make legal service opon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.); as, to serve a witness with a subpoena.
  13. To pass or spend, as time, esp. time of punishment; as, to serve a term in prison.
  14. To copulate with; to cover; as, a horse serves a mare; -- said of the male.
  15. (tennis): To lead off in delivering (the ball).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. To perform domestic offices; to be occupied with household affairs; to prepare and dish up food, etc.
  19. 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.
  20. To be of use; to answer a purpose; to suffice; to suit; to be convenient or favorable.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Anagrams


French

Pronunciation

Verb form

serve

  1. first-, third-person singular subjunctive present of servir

Italian

Noun

serve f.

  1. Plural form of serva.

Verb

serve

  1. Third-person singular present tense of servire.

Latin

Noun

serve m.

  1. vocative singular of servus#Latin

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