serve

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serve is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
serve

Pronunciation[change]

  • (file)

Verb[change]

Plain form
serve

Third-person singular
serves

Past tense
served

Past participle
served

Present participle
serving

  1. (transitive & intransitive) When you serve food or drink, you give it to somebody to eat or drink, especially as a host.
    Shall I serve your drinks first?
    Lunch is served from 11:00 until 3:00.
  2. (transitive & intransitive) If something serves (as something), it used or useful for a certain purpose.
    This cup can serve as a holder for my paintbrushes.
    This program has served as a model for smaller enterprises throughout the state.
    His experiences during the war served as the basis for his book.
    The area is served by a number of schools.
    The law no longer serves the function it once did.
  3. (transitive & intransitive) When you serve (as something), you work.
    John served in the army.
    He served as the director of the company from 1992 until 2003.
    He serves the king.
  4. (transitive) If you serve time in prison, you stay there because you are a criminal.
  5. (transitive & intransitive) (sports) If you serve, in a game like tennis, you begin play by sending something like a ball over a net.

Related words[change]

Noun[change]

Singular
serve

Plural
serves

  1. (sports) A serve in a game like tennis is the action beginning of play by sending something like a ball over a net.
    Whose serve is it?
    That was a great serve!

Related words[change]