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Verb: serve  surv
  1. Act to fulfil 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";
    - function
  2. Do duty or hold office; perform 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 popularity"
  4. Be used by; as of a utility
    "The garage served to shelter his horses"; "The sewage plant served the neighbouring communities";
    - service
  5. Give a portion of food or drink
    "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself";
    - help
  6. Provide (usually but not necessarily food)
    "We serve meals for the homeless"; "The entertainers served up a lively show";
    - 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";
    - serve well
  9. Spend time in prison or in a labour camp
    "He served six years for embezzlement";
    - do
  10. Work for, or be a servant to
    "May I serve you?"; "The minister served the King for many years";
    - attend to, wait on, attend, assist
  11. Deliver a warrant or summons to someone
    "He was served by the sheriff";
    - process, swear out
  12. Be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity
    "Nothing else will serve";
    - suffice, do, answer
  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";
    - service
  15. (court game) put the ball into play
    "It was Agassi's turn to serve"
Noun: serve  surv
  1. (sport) a stroke that puts the ball in play
    "his powerful serves won the game";
    - service

Derived forms: served, serves, serving

Type of: aid, assist, cater, copulate, couple, deliver, do work, effect, effectuate, foster, fulfil [Brit, Cdn], fulfill [N. Amer], function, go, help, live up to, mate, move, nurture, operate, pair, pass, ply, provide, run, satisfy, set up, spend, supply, tennis shot, tennis stroke, work

Encyclopedia: Serve