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 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 As a production, the podcast is serviceable if undistinguished. Vulture, 20 Dec. 2022 The Dionysian parts of the show are only serviceable, but the Apollonian sections, when the characters use rational means to work their way through their disagreements, are a thrill. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 2 July 2022 The script is barely serviceable, with every character underwritten. Jeff Ewing, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Both players are serviceable but expect the Steelers to rely on running back Najee Harris to carry the load. Jaylon Thompson, USA TODAY, 17 Dec. 2022 Sure, chavela would be serviceable with simple tomato juice, but most bartenders will agree Clamato truly makes for the best version. Miles Walls, Chron, 5 Oct. 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 29 Jan. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on serviceable

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