Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “serve”

See all translations

serve

verb
 
 
/sɜːv/
[T] to provide people or a place with products or services or something that is needed: serve customers/clients There is a new 24-hour bus that serves the airport.
[I or T] to help achieve something or to be useful as something: serve to do sth The new procedures serve to stop economic growth. The phone application needs to serve a purpose.
[T] COMMERCE in a shop, restaurant, or hotel, to deal with a customer by taking their order, showing or selling them goods, etc.: She spends all day on the shop floor serving customers. Are you being served?
[I or T] to provide food or drinks: He was served dinner in his room. Breakfast is served between 7 and 9.
[I or T] to spend time doing a job, training for a job, or having a responsibility: serve as sth He became a city commissioner and went on to serve as mayor. After serving an apprenticeship with his father, he received a scholarship to study in Italy.
[T] LAW to give a legal document to someone, demanding that they go to a court of law or that they obey an order: The pension trustees served a writ last Friday in New York.serve sb with sth She was served with a summons to court.
(Definition of serve from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of serve?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “serve” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More