See also: seřve

English edit

 
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A jump serve in a game of volleyball

Etymology edit

From Middle English serven, from Old French servir, from Latin serviō (be a slave; serve), from Latin servus (slave; servant), which perhaps derives from Etruscan (compare Etruscan proper names 𐌔𐌄𐌓𐌅𐌉 (servi), 𐌔𐌄𐌓𐌅𐌄 (serve)), or from Proto-Indo-European *ser- (watch over, protect).[1]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

serve (plural serves)

  1. (sports) An act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play in various games.
    Whose serve is it?
    • 1961 January 13, Marshall Smith, “From Waif to a Winner, the Clown of the Courts”, in Life, page 99:
      He had no power serve of his own, no backhand, no volley, no lob, no idea of pace or tactics.
    • 1996, Steve Boga, Badminton, page viii:
      The first serve of the game is from the right half court to the half diagonally opposite.
    • 2009, Mihnea Moldoveanu, Roger L. Martin, Diaminds: Decoding the Mental Habits of Successful Thinkers, page 31:
      Against a serve of the calibre of McEnroe′s, an opponent will try to anticipate the ball′s direction and lean either to the left or to the right, depending on where he feels the server will go.
  2. (chiefly Australia) A portion of food or drink, a serving.
    • 2004, Susanna Holt, Fitness Food: The Essential Guide to Eating Well and Performing Better, Australia: Murdoch Books, page 23:
      The night before your event, base your evening meal on high-carbohydrate foods with a small serve of lean protein.
    • 2007, Verity Campbell, Turkey, Lonely Planet, page 142:
      Come here for a cappuccino that could hold its own on Via Veneto in Rome (€2) and a serve of their crunchy fresh cheese börek.
    • 2008, Michael E. Cichorski, Maximum Asthma Control: The Revolutionary 3-Step Anti Asthma Program, page 100:
      Reintroduce protein; add a small serve of salmon, tuna or sardines every second day (tinned variety or fresh).
    • 2011, Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Health Committee, Alcohol: First Report of Session 2009-10, volume 2, page 189:
      Smirnoff Appleback was a finished drink, comprising a 50ml serve of Smirnoff, with ice and lemonade or ginger ale and equating to 1.9 units.
    • 2012, Lesley Campbell, Alan L. Rubin, Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies, Australian Edition, page 117,
      One serve of carbohydrates is approximately equal to a slice of bread, a piece of fruit, third of a cup of cooked rice, half a cup of grains, cereals, starchy vegetables or cooked pasta, 200 grams of plain yoghurt, or 300 millilitres of milk.
  3. (gay slang and African-American Vernacular) An impressive presentation (especially of a person's appearance).
    That white eyeliner is such a serve.
    • 2019, Mathew Rodriguez, “The Official Ranking of Every Track on Britney Spears’ Debut Album”, in Out.com[1]:
      And, of course, there’s the video, which didn’t need to be such a serve since the song slapped so hard. But, it’s still iconic years later.
    • 2021, Chris Murphy, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Allow Me To ReintroDrewce Myself”, in Vulture[2]:
      Taking a private jet in the middle of a pandemic is not the serve you think it is KenToya! What is a serve is the hazmat jumpsuit Marlo wears for the sprinter. Fashion x Covid Safety realness.

Synonyms edit

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

Antonyms edit

  • (sports: act of putting the ball or shuttlecock in play): receive

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

serve (third-person singular simple present serves, present participle serving, simple past and past participle served)

  1. (personal) To provide a service (or, by extension, a product, especially food or drink).
    1. (transitive) To be a formal servant for (a god or deity); to worship in an official capacity. [from 12thc.]
    2. (transitive) To be a servant for; to work for, to be employed by. [from 13thc.]
      • 1716, Joseph Addison, The Drummer:
        And, truly, Mrs Abigail, I must needs say, I served my master contentedly while he was living, but I will serve no man living (that is, no man that is not living) without double wages.
      • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
        [] his lordship was out of humour. That was the way Chollacombe described as knaggy an old gager as ever Charles had had the ill-fortune to serve.
      • 1979, Bob Dylan, Gotta Serve Somebody:
        You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief, / They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief / But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
    3. (transitive) To wait upon (someone) at table; to set food and drink in front of, to help (someone) to food, meals etc. [from 13thc.]
      • 2007, Larry McMurty, When the Light Goes:
        That night Annie served him grilled halibut and English peas, plus tomatoes, of course, and a salad.
    4. (intransitive) To be a servant or worker; to perform the duties of a servant or employee; to render service. [from 14thc.]
    5. (transitive) To set down (food or drink) on the table to be eaten; to bring (food, drink) to a person. [from 15thc.]
      • 2009, Dominic A Pacyga, Chicago: A Biography, page 195:
        About twenty minutes after waiters served the soup, a guest got up and left.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To treat (someone) in a given manner. [from 13thc.]
  3. (transitive, archaic) To be suitor to; to be the lover of. [from 14thc.]
  4. To be effective.
    1. (transitive) To be useful to; to meet the needs of. [from 14thc.]
      • 2010 October 12, Lloyd Marcus, The Guardian:
        So, while the sycophantic liberal media calls any and all opposition to Obama racist, they give Obama carte blanche to exploit his race whenever it serves his purpose.
    2. (intransitive) To have a given use or purpose; to function for something or to do something. [from 14thc.]
      • 2011 January 27, “Borgata bust”, in The Economist:
        The bust also served to remind the public that the Mafia is not harmless.
      • 2012 March-April, Terrence J. Sejnowski, “Well-connected Brains”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 171:
        Creating a complete map of the human connectome would therefore be a monumental milestone but not the end of the journey to understanding how our brains work. The achievement will transform neuroscience and serve as the starting point for asking questions we could not otherwise have answered, [].
    3. (intransitive) To usefully take the place as, instead of something else. [from 14thc.]
      • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
        Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. []. Ikey the blacksmith had forged us a spearhead after a sketch from a picture of a Greek warrior; and a rake-handle served as a shaft.
      • 2010 April 20, “Not up in the air”, in The Economist:
        Maybe the volcanic eruption will serve as a wake-up call to such companies that they need to modernise their risk management.
  5. (transitive, law) To deliver a document.
    1. To officially deliver (a legal notice, summons etc.). [from 15thc.]
      • 2008 April, Pamela Colloff, “The Fire That Time”, in Texas Monthly, Austin: Emmis Publishing, page 158:
        On the morning of February 28, 1993, ATF agents gathered at a staging area near Waco and prepared to serve a search warrant on the Branch Davidians' residence.
      a document served on the tenant
      (a document delivered to the tenant)
    2. To make legal service upon (a person named in a writ, summons, etc.)
      to serve a witness with a subpoena
  6. (transitive, intransitive, sports) To lead off with the first delivery over the net in tennis, volleyball, ping pong, badminton etc. [from 16thc.]
    • 2007, Rob Antoun, Women's Tennis Tactics, page 2:
      In women's tennis the need to serve more effectively has become greater in recent years because the game is being played more aggressively, and rallies are becoming shorter as a result.
  7. (transitive) To copulate with (of male animals); to cover. [from 16thc.]
    • 1996, Puck Bonnier et al., Dairy Cattle Husbandry, Agromisa Foundation 2004
      Conception means that a cow is served by a bull and that she becomes pregnant.
  8. (intransitive) To be in military service. [from 16thc.]
    • 2007 May 16, Peter Walker, The Guardian:
      Some reports suggested he would quit the army if he was not allowed to serve abroad in a war zone.
  9. (transitive, military) To work, to operate (a weapon). [from 18thc.]
    • 1864, Horace Greeley, The American Conflict[3]:
      John T. Greble, of the 2d regular artillery, was likewise killed instantly by a ball through the head, while serving his gun in the face of the foe.
  10. (transitive) To work through (a given period of time in prison, a sentence). [from 19thc.]
    • 2010 December 1, Tania Branigan, The Guardian:
      The Guangzhou Daily reported that Shi Chunlong, 20, who organised the incident, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Hou Bin, who pulled out of the attack after helping to plan it, will serve 12 years.
  11. (nautical) To wind spun yarn etc. tightly around (a rope or cable, etc.) so as to protect it from chafing or from the weather.
  12. (transitive) To perform (a public obligation).
    I've received a summons for jury duty. It says I serve one day or one trial.
    She served the office of mayor five years ago.
  13. (transitive, intransitive, slang, drugs) To provide crack cocaine (to), usually by selling, dealing, or distributing.
    • 2006, Stacey Green, Inside...the Mind of a Man!, page 18:
      Once I began selling crack, money was no issue. I would be out 2-3 days at a time, up for 24 hours a day. It was a full time job, serving crack fiends.
    • 2010, Keith Norton, Crack Spell:
      Tim told her that she could make a little money on the side by serving crack-cocaine.
    • 2012, Diana Prince, Secret Lives: Real Lives in the World’S Oldest Profession:
      They'd serve cocaine, and you'd sit there, and base this cocaine. And you'd have an ounce gone in 24 hours.
    • 2013, Seth Ferranti, The Supreme Team: The Birth of Crack and Hip-Hop, Prince’s Reign of Terror and the Supreme/50 Cent Beef Exposed:
      When crews like the Supreme Team saw the effect of the powerful new drug on users, they streamlined their own operation to serve crack only.
  14. (gay slang and African-American Vernacular) To present an attractive personal appearance.
    1. (intransitive) To present an attractive personal appearance.
      • 2017, John Boone, “Inside Marvel Studios: Secrets About 'Black Panther,' 'Captain Marvel,' 'Thor: Ragnarok' & More!”, in ET Online[4]:
        [] Angela Bassett, serving for the gods in regal headdresses and flowing white dreadlocks as T'Challa's mother, []
    2. (transitive) To attractively display something (especially a body part) as part of one's personal appearance.
      • 2016, Delores Shante, “Tiffany Foxx’s Black Friday”, in The St. Louis American[5]:
        I feel the same way about Ashley Monroe too, who was her usual sweet self as she came through serving cleavage to the max.
      • 2019, Alyssa Morin, “Kylie Jenner and Her BFF Stassie Pose in Matching Itty-Bitty Bikinis”, in E! Online[6]:
        Wearing an itty-bitty black bikini and mirror-like sunnies, she's serving face.
    3. (transitive) To evoke something (especially a person) with one's personal appearance.
      • 2019, Emma Kelly, “Jennifer Aniston is ‘dating again’ and ‘staying in touch’ with ex-husband Brad Pitt”, in Metro UK[7]:
        Serving Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! realness, and we’re into it.
      • 2021, Bella Gerard, “These Paris Fashion Week SS21 Couture Looks Give Me So Much Serotonin”, in Stylecaster[8]:
        Dior’s collection was serving major Bridgerton vibes, and I am definitely taking notes.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Terms derived from serve (verb)

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Thai: เสิร์ฟ (sə̀əp)

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024), “serve”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (March 2, 1942), “1. The Vowel Sounds of Stressed Syllables”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 12, page 42.

Anagrams edit

Czech edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

serve

  1. third-person singular future of servat

French edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

serve

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

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Galician edit

Verb edit

serve

  1. third-person singular present indicative of servir
  2. (reintegrationist norm) inflection of servir:
    1. third-person singular present indicative
    2. second-person singular imperative

Italian edit

Etymology 1 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Adjective edit

serve f pl

  1. feminine plural of servo

Noun edit

serve f pl

  1. plural of serva

Etymology 2 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb edit

serve

  1. third-person singular present indicative of servire

Latin edit

Noun edit

serve m

  1. vocative singular of servus

Norwegian Nynorsk edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English serve. Doublet of servere. Both are ultimately from Latin serviō.

Verb edit

serve (present tense servar, past tense serva, past participle serva, passive infinitive servast, present participle servande, imperative serve/serv)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, sports) to serve (To lead off with the first delivery over the net in tennis, volleyball, ping pong, badminton etc.)

Noun edit

serve m (definite singular serven, indefinite plural servar, definite plural servane)

  1. (sports) a serve

References edit

Anagrams edit

Portuguese edit

Verb edit

serve

  1. inflection of servir:
    1. third-person singular present indicative
    2. second-person singular imperative

Swedish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English serve.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

serve c

  1. (sports) serve

Declension edit

Declension of serve 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative serve serven servar servarna
Genitive serves servens servars servarnas

Related terms edit

Votic edit

Etymology edit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.) Related to Estonian serv.

Pronunciation edit

  • (Luutsa, Liivtšülä) IPA(key): /ˈservæ/, [ˈservə̟]
  • Rhymes: -ervæ
  • Hyphenation: ser‧ve

Noun edit

serve

  1. edge, brink, verge, border

Inflection edit

Declension of serve (type VIII/päive, no gradation)
singular plural
nominative serve served
genitive servä servije, servii
partitive servä serviite, servii
illative serväse, servä serviise
inessive servez serviiz
elative servesse serviisse
allative servele serviile
adessive servelle serviille
ablative servelte serviilte
translative servessi serviissi
*) the accusative corresponds with either the genitive (sg) or nominative (pl)
**) the terminative is formed by adding the suffix -ssaa to the short illative (sg) or the genitive.
***) the comitative is formed by adding the suffix -ka to the genitive.

Descendants edit

References edit

  • Hallap, V.; Adler, E.; Grünberg, S.; Leppik, M. (2012), “servä”, in Vadja keele sõnaraamat [A dictionary of the Votic language], 2nd edition, Tallinn