serve - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “serve”

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serve

verb  us   /sɜrv/

serve verb (HELP)

[I/T] (esp. of a person working in a restaurant or store) to help a customer by getting what someone needs or by showing or selling goods, or to provide food or drinks to a customer or guest: [T] We’ve been in the restaurant for half an hour and we’re still waiting to be served. [T] Breakfast is served between seven and nine every morning. [I/T] We’ll be ready to serve (lunch) soon. [I/T] To serve is also to provide an area or group of people with something that is needed: [T] As long as I am your representative, I will continue to serve the needs of this community.

serve verb (WORK)

[I/T] to work for, or to carry out your duty: [I] He served in the US Navy for twelve years. [T] If memory serves me right (= If I am remembering correctly), I was 13 at the time.

serve verb (SPEND TIME)

[T] to spend a period of time in a job or activity: He served three terms in the senate.

serve verb (HELP ACHIEVE)

[I/T] to help achieve something, or to be useful as something: [+ to infinitive] Tougher prison sentences, he said, will serve to deter crime. [I] The sofa can serve as (= be used as) a bed for a couple of nights.

serve verb (HIT BALL)

[I/T] (in tennis and other sports) to hit the ball to the other player or team as a way of starting play

serve

noun [C]  /sɜrv/

serve noun [C] (HITTING BALL)

(in tennis and other sports) the act of hitting the ball to the other player or team to start play : He's got a powerful serve.
(Definition of serve from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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