- 1to give someone food or drink, especially as part of a meal or in a restaurant
- 2to work for; to be employed by
- 3to help achieve something; to be useful
- 4to spend a period of time in prison
Using serve: Examples
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "serve" can be used in various situations through the following examples!
Can I serve you some coffee?
He served in the army for five years.
This tool can serve multiple purposes.
He was sentenced to serve three years in prison.
serve Synonyms and Antonyms
Idioms Using serve
He was caught cheating on the test. It serves him right that he failed.
She served up a delicious meal for her guests.
The lawyer served the defendant with the court papers.
Phrases with serve
This old computer may not be fast, but it will serve the purpose for basic tasks.
He lost his job because he was always late. It serves him right.
to officially inform someone about something, usually related to ending a contract or agreement
The landlord served notice to the tenants to vacate the apartment.
Origins of serve
from Old French 'servir', from Latin 'servire', meaning 'to be a slave'
Summary: serve in Brief
The verb 'serve' [sɜːv] has several meanings. It can refer to giving food or drink, working for someone, being useful, or spending time in prison. Examples include 'Can I serve you some coffee?' and 'He was sentenced to serve three years in prison.' 'Serve' also appears in phrases like 'serve the purpose,' and idioms like 'serve somebody right,' indicating deserving punishment, and 'serve up something,' meaning to provide something, especially food or drink.