Definition of “service” - English Dictionary

“service” in British English

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servicenoun

uk /ˈsɜː.vɪs/ us /ˈsɝː.vɪs/

service noun (PUBLIC NEED)

B1 [ C ] a government system or private organization that is responsible for a particular type of activity, or for providing a particular thing that people need:

the postal service
US the National Park Service
UK the National Health Service
UK the ambulance/prison service
I've worked in public health services throughout my career.

B1 [ C or U ] the fact that a system is working:

There is a very limited bus service on Sundays.
We hope to be operating a normal service as soon as possible.
services [ plural ] UK

a place at the side of a large road at which fuel, food, drink, and other things that people want on their journey are sold:

We stopped at the services to get fuel.

More examples

service noun (DEALING WITH CUSTOMER)

B1 [ U ] the act of dealing with customers in a shop, restaurant, or hotel by taking their orders, showing or selling them goods, etc.:

The only trouble with this café is that the service is so slow.
You should leave a generous tip to reward good service.

B2 [ U ] an amount of money charged for serving a customer in a restaurant, often paid directly to the waiter:

There is a ten percent service charge included in the bill.

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service noun (WORK)

C1 [ C or U ] work that someone does or time that someone spends working for an organization:

These teenagers all do community service in their free time.
She was given the award for a lifetime of public service.
her service on a jury

[ C ] a business that offers a particular type of help or work:

Why don't you call the babysitting service?
a laundry/ironing service

B2 [ C ] a government department that is responsible for a particular area of activity:

the diplomatic service
the security services
services [ plural ] formal

the particular skills that someone has and can offer to others:

I may be needing the services of a surveyor soon, as I'm buying a house.
in service

in use:

The battleship has been in service since 1965.
be in service UK old-fashioned

to be employed as a servant:

Her mother was in service.

service noun (ARMED FORCES)

B2 [ C or U ] (work in) the armed forces:

He joined the air force in 1964 and spent ten years in the service.
All men under 35 were told to report for military service.
Service personnel are subject to the Official Secrets Act.
the services B2 [ plural ]

the army, navy, and/or air force:

a career in the services
on active service

fighting in a war:

He was the first member of his regiment to die while on active service.

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serviceverb [ T ]

uk /ˈsɜː.vɪs/ us /ˈsɝː.vɪs/

(Definition of “service” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“service” in American English

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servicenoun

us /ˈsɜr·vɪs/

service noun (HELP)

[ U ] the help provided to a customer by someone who works in esp. a restaurant or store:

The service in this restaurant is terrible – I’ve been waiting fifteen minutes.

service noun (WORK)

work done or help provided, esp. for the public or for a person or an organization:

[ U ] She was given the award for a lifetime of public service.
[ U ] The airplane had been in service (= used) for fifteen years.
[ pl ] You should have the services of a lawyer.

service noun (SYSTEM)

[ C/U ] a system, organization, or business that provides for a public need, or the operation of such a system:

[ C ] the diplomatic/postal service
[ C ] medical/social services
[ U ] There is bus service to Newark Airport every twenty minutes.

[ C/U ] A service is a business that provides something for people but does not produce goods:

[ U ] My brother runs a car service (= business that rents cars with drivers).

[ C/U ] The service is the armed forces:

[ U ] He spent ten years in the service.

service noun (RELIGIOUS CEREMONY)

service noun (EMPLOYMENT)

[ U ] work done for others, such as cleaning or repairing, caring for a building, or making deliveries:

This building has five service employees including the super.

[ U ] A service entrance is an entrance to a building that is used for deliveries.

service noun (BALL HIT)

[ U ] the act of hitting a ball to put it in play in tennis and some other sports

serviceverb [ T ]

us /ˈsɜr·vəs/

service verb [ T ] (REPAIR)

to examine a machine and repair any parts that are not working:

I’m taking the car in to have it serviced this afternoon.

(Definition of “service” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“service” in Business English

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servicenoun

uk /ˈsɜːvɪs/ us

[ C or U ] COMMERCE business activity that involves doing things for customers rather than producing goods, or a single act of doing something for a customer:

The bank was the first to offer 24-hour telephone banking service.
We haven't actively promoted the email service because we have to be sure we can meet demand.
These days there are service jobs that no one ever dreamed about in the 1950s.
GDP is a measure of an economy's output of goods and services.
offer/provide a service Career consultants offer numerous services, including résumé polishing.
service for sb/sth We provide an internet service for lawyers.

[ C ] GOVERNMENT a system or organization that provides something important that the public needs:

the ambulance/health/postal, etc. service
The planners have to investigate what local services are available including transport, housing, and schooling for employees' children.

[ C ] GOVERNMENT a government department that is responsible for a particular area or activity:

The immigration service has won an important victory in the courts.

[ C or U ] TRANSPORT a system of buses, trains, aircraft, etc. that travel between particular places:

Passenger traffic registered a sharp rise thanks to the opening of a new ferry service from Liverpool to Dublin.
The 18:43 service to Liverpool has been cancelled.
Commercial air service is ready to resume today.

[ U ] COMMERCE the way that employees of a business, store, etc. deal with customers, especially how quickly and effectively they do this:

level/quality/standard of service We constantly seek to improve the quality of service we give to our customers.
good/excellent/poor service
provide/give service They have provided excellent service in handling problem cases.
get/receive service It seems like you never get good service in restaurants these days.
services

[ plural ] formal the particular skills that someone can offer to others:

You need the services of a lawyer.
offer your services (as sth) He has offered his services as a mediator in the dispute.
Until fairly recently the Law Society frowned upon solicitors advertising their services in any way.

[ C or U ] HR the time an employee spends working for an organization, or the work they do:

British labour law gives employees rights dependent upon their length of service.
15/40, etc. years (of) service The amount of the severance payment is based on his 25 years service with the group.
Under Germany's constitution, the unions and employers' federations have the exclusive right to negotiate wages and conditions of service.

[ C ] UK a check and repair of a vehicle or machine that is done at regular periods:

I'm taking my car in for a service.
be of service (to sb)

formal to help someone:

Hello, how can I be of service?
in service

being used:

If we find a technology that will work, it could be in service by 2012.

serviceverb [ T ]

uk /ˈsɜːvɪs/ us

FINANCE to make regular payments to pay back a debt or loan, including interest:

As growth slowed and prices fell, borrowers were unable to service their debts.
The country is still spending $3 million a week servicing debt, twice what it spends on healthcare.

FINANCE to collect and keep records of payments from a person or organization that has borrowed money:

We service about 350,000 mortgage loans.

to examine a machine and repair any damaged parts:

I'm taking the car in to have it serviced.
The 10-year contract involves servicing 11 gas turbines on three deep-water platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

COMMERCE to provide a service to someone:

service an industry/market
We hope to achieve greater efficiency and be better able to service customers.

See also

serviceadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈsɜːvɪs/ us

used only by people who work in a building or are delivering goods there, not by the general public:

a service elevator/entrance

(Definition of “service” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)