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

beginner's luck

unexpected success experienced by a person who is just starting a particular activity

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More