ser·​vice·​able ˈsər-və-sə-bəl How to pronounce serviceable (audio)
: fit for use
a serviceable design
also : of adequate quality
her serviceable but not exceptional voice Irving Kolodin
serviceability noun
serviceableness noun
serviceably adverb

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Someone who speaks serviceable Spanish isn't fluent in it but gets by pretty well. A serviceable jacket is practical and maybe even rugged. But serviceable sometimes damns with faint praise. A serviceable performance is all right but not inspired. Serviceable curtains aren't the ideal color or pattern, but they serve their purpose. A serviceable pair of shoes is sturdy but won't win you any fashion points.

Example Sentences

I bought an old but still serviceable bicycle. be sure to wear serviceable shoes if you're going to be walking on the rocks along the shore
Recent Examples on the Web Backup Tyler Huntley is serviceable and trustworthy, but if the Ravens are going to go anywhere in the postseason, Jackson will take them there. Adam Kilgore, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Dec. 2022 His best traits and abilities make Nix a serviceable college quarterback on a winning team. oregonlive, 4 Sep. 2022 Tyler Huntley and Anthony Brown have been serviceable. Jaylon Thompson, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2023 That’s a more-than-serviceable starting point heading into a week featuring the college football national championship and NFL postseason. cleveland, 8 Jan. 2023 Gardner Minshew was serviceable against the Cowboys. Dallas News, 26 Dec. 2022 The Hubble telescope was serviceable—at huge expense—by space shuttle astronauts in low-Earth orbit. Bydaniel Clery,, 9 Jan. 2023 Even after construction seemingly finished in mid-December 2021, Comcast initially refused to schedule an installation appointment because the company's internal systems incorrectly showed the house still wasn't serviceable. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 28 Dec. 2022 As a side quest from original-flavor Witcher, Blood Origins (created by Witcher producers Declan de Barra and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich) is serviceable. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serviceable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English serviseable "willing to serve or be of assistance, suitable, useful," borrowed from Anglo-French servissable, from servise service entry 1 + -able -able

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of serviceable was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near serviceable

Cite this Entry

“Serviceable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ser·​vice·​able ˈsər-və-sə-bəl How to pronounce serviceable (audio)
: prepared for or capable of service : useful
: lasting or wearing well in use
serviceability noun
serviceableness noun

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