Soup was served as the first course.
The waiter served our meals quickly.
The restaurant serves excellent Italian food.
The waiter who served us was very nice.
Feel free to serve yourself at the salad bar.
You carve the turkey, and I'll serve.
The roast should serve six.
I'm afraid all of our salespeople are serving other customers right now.
What can we do to serve our customers better? Noun
She started the game with a powerful serve. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Prior to joining Dateline, Mankiewicz served as a correspondent for Fox Broadcasting Company’s newsmagazine Front Page.—Dateline Nbc, NBC News, 28 Nov. 2023 Nearly every one of those unapproved schools was created to serve a single homeschooling family, but some have buildings, classrooms, teachers and dozens of students.—Sharon Lurye, Fortune, 27 Nov. 2023 Smetana hopes to expand beyond their three clinics in the future to further serve women far from maternity care services.—Sarah Maddox, CBS News, 27 Nov. 2023 Boom predicts that the Overture will be able to serve more than 600 routes around the world in about half the time of subsonic commercial jets.—Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 27 Nov. 2023 Four front patch pockets can serve as design details or useful storage for small items like AirPods while traveling.—Lane Nieset, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023 Bridges serves as a national spokesperson for No Kid Hungry.—Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Nov. 2023 Click here to access the printable version of today’s CNN 10 transcript
CNN 10 serves a growing audience interested in compact on-demand news broadcasts ideal for explanation seekers on the go or in the classroom.—CNN, 27 Nov. 2023 In this case, most of the Americans who have joined the war effort have served previously in the Israel Defense Forces or remain IDF reservists.—Alex Horton, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023
Lipton, the Tulane professor, says his reputation for being litigious serves as a deterrent to critics who might challenge him.—Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 A little water goes a long way, unlocking notes of cocoa, banana custard, espresso bean, and soft serve butterscotch dip.—Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 19 Nov. 2023 The chocolate soft serve, with deep chocolate flavor, is much better.—Lucas Kwan Peterson, Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2023 The Breeze had all the fix-in options as Blizzards but were made with frozen yogurt instead of soft serve ice cream and could also come with fruit.—Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2023 But in a tussle that lasted 2 hours, 28 minutes, Cheng was steadier in the 7-4 tie-breaker, winning three points off Prichard’s serve.—Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2023 The Israelis were, indeed, happy to pay, because the man who offered his serves was Ashraf Marwan—Anwar Sadat’s presidential secretary and Nasser’s own son-in-law.—Uri Kaufman, Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2023 But, the Comets missed four serves in the second set after missing six in the first.—Craig Clary, Baltimore Sun, 12 Sep. 2023 By standing so far back and taking more time, Medvedev leaves more court space open and gives his opponents more time to get into an advantageous position for their next stroke after the serve.—Jesus Jiménez, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'serve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English serven, sarven "to perform a duty, be employed, assume the role of personal attendant, be of use (of a body part), perform religious rites, provide food and drink (to people at a table), deliver (a legal writ)," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French servir, borrowed from Medieval Latin serviō, servīre, going back to Latin, "to perform duties for (a master) in the capacity of a slave, act in subservience, be at the service of," verbal derivative of servus "slave," perhaps, if the original sense was "watcher (of flocks), guardian," derivative with the nominal suffix *-u̯o-, of the Indo-European verbal base *ser- "keep watch on, guard," whence, with varying ablaut and derivation, Greek (Homeric) epì…órontai "they kept watch over," Greek éphoros "watcher, overseer," phrourós "guard, watchman" (< *pro-horós), phrourā́ "guard duty," Avestan nišhauruuaiti "(s/he) keeps watch on" (from a stem *har-u̯a-), pasuš.hauruua "guarding the flock (of a dog)," harətar- "watcher, guardian"
The above etymology of Latin servus "slave" is carefully argued by Helmut Rix (Die Termini der Unfreiheit in den Sprachen Alt-Italiens, Stuttgart, 1994, pp. 54-88), who rejects claims that the word is of Etruscan origin. Rix hypothesizes that between about 700 b.c. and 450 b.c., as most transhumant shepherds in the Italian peninsula came to be slaves, an agent noun meaning "flock guard" developed a secondary sense "slave," and by the time of the earliest Latin texts had largely lost its original meaning (with pāstor becoming the usual word for a shepherd—see pastor entry 1). The presumption is that Italic languages—as Indo-European languages generally—lacked a word for "slave," as slavery was an institution endemic to older Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilizations. Note that Umbrian has a verb exemplified by the imperative seritu "(let him/her) protect!" that corresponds in form but not in sense to Latin servīre, which had been repurposed to reflect the new meaning of the noun *seru̯os. Rix hypothesizes that the Latin verb servāre "to watch over, look after" originally meant exclusively "to watch (the skies for an omen)," as a derivative of a noun *seru̯ā or *seru̯om "observation (of the skies)," and suggests that its senses expanded to cover those formerly held by the repurposed verb servīre.