Meaning of SERVICE in English

I. ser ‧ vice 1 S1 W1 /ˈsɜːvəs, ˈsɜːvɪs $ ˈsɜːr-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ servant , ↑ serve , ↑ server , ↑ service , ↑ disservice , the services, ↑ serving , ↑ servery , ↑ servicing , ↑ servility , ↑ servitude ; adjective : ↑ serviceable , ↑ servile , ↑ serving ; verb : ↑ serve , ↑ service ]

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin servitium 'condition of being a slave' , from servus ; ⇨ ↑ serve 1 ]

1 . OFFICIAL SYSTEM/ORGANIZATION [countable] the official system for providing something, especially something that everyone in a country needs to have, or the official organization that provides it:

the health service

the postal service

the police service

the prison service

Workers in the emergency services (=the police, hospital, and the fire service) are forbidden from striking.

There has been a decline in public services in recent years.

the essential services (=the police, hospitals, fire service, and organizations that provide basic things such as water, gas, or electricity)

⇨ ↑ civil service , ↑ Diplomatic Service , ↑ fire service , ↑ Internal Revenue Service , ↑ National Health Service , ↑ secret service , ↑ security service

2 . SOMETHING PROVIDED BY A COMPANY [countable] a particular type of help or work that is provided by a business to customers, but not one that involves producing goods:

A wide range of financial services are available.

provide/offer a service

Datapost offers a delivery service to over 160 countries.

Our aim is to provide the best service at the lowest price.

the supply of goods and services

⇨ ↑ service industry

3 . IN A SHOP/RESTAURANT/BAR [uncountable] the help that people who work in a shop, restaurant, bar etc give you

good/bad/slow etc service

The service was terrible and so was the food.

customer service

At our bank, we insist on high standards of customer service.

Service is included in your bill (=the charge for paying the people who serve you is included) .

⇨ ↑ room service , ↑ self-service , ↑ service charge

4 . WORK [uncountable] ( also services [plural] ) the work that someone does for a person or organization, especially over a long period

20/30 years etc of service

Brian retired after 25 years of service to the company.

a long service award

a career in public service (=work done for the public or the government)

services to somebody/something (=all the good work you have done for someone or something)

He received an award for services to sport.

5 . WORK DONE FOR SOMEBODY services [plural] skilled work or advice from a particular type of worker who you use to help you do something

sb’s services/the services of somebody

Lydia obtained the services of a qualified nurse.

sb’s services as something

Why don’t you offer your services as a tennis coach?

6 . DUTY jury/military/community etc service something that ordinary people can be asked to do as a public duty or as a punishment:

Her attacker was sentenced to 120 hours’ community service.

7 . BEING USED [uncountable] used to talk about whether a piece of equipment, a vehicle etc is available to be used, or how long it can be used

in service (=being used or available to be used)

These trains have been in service for many years.

out of service (=not being used or not available to be used)

The escalator is out of service.

give good/excellent etc service (=work well and last a long time)

Steel tools give good service for years.

8 . RELIGIOUS CEREMONY [countable] a formal religious ceremony, especially in church

hold/conduct a service

The service was held in the chapel.

marriage/funeral/christening etc service

a memorial service for the disaster victims

9 . ARMY the services British English the service American English a country’s military forces, especially considered as a job

join/go into the services

Maybe you should join the services.

Her son is in the services.

10 . HELP [singular, uncountable] formal help that you give to someone

be at sb’s service (=be available to help someone, or for someone to use)

My secretary is at your service.

be of service (to somebody) (=help someone)

Can I be of any service?

do somebody a service (=do something that will help someone)

He did her a service by telling her the truth.

11 . CHECKS ON A CAR/MACHINE [countable] an examination and repair of a machine or car to keep it working properly:

I’m getting the bus home – my car’s in for a service.

12 . TENNIS/BALL GAME [countable] an act of hitting a ball through the air in order to start a game, especially in tennis:

It’s your service.

13 . ON A MOTORWAY services [plural] British English a place near a ↑ motorway where you can stop and have a meal or drink, or buy food, petrol etc ⇨ service station :

How far is it to the next services?

14 . PLATES/CUPS ETC [countable] a set of plates, bowls, cups etc that match each other

15 . BUS/TRAIN/PLANE ETC [countable usually singular] British English a regular journey made by a bus, train, boat etc to a particular place at a particular time:

the 8:15 service to Cambridge

16 . be in service/go into service British English to be working or start working as a servant in someone’s house, especially in the past ⇨ ↑ domestic service

17 . LEGAL DOCUMENT [uncountable] formal when someone is given a legal document telling them that they must do something or that something is going to happen:

the service of a summons

18 . for services rendered formal for work you have done or help you have given:

payment for services rendered

⇨ ↑ active service , ↑ lip service , ⇨ press somebody/something into service at ↑ press 2 (13)

II. service 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ servant , ↑ serve , ↑ server , ↑ service , ↑ disservice , the services, ↑ serving , ↑ servery , ↑ servicing , ↑ servility , ↑ servitude ; adjective : ↑ serviceable , ↑ servile , ↑ serving ; verb : ↑ serve , ↑ service ]

1 . [usually passive] if someone services a machine or vehicle, they examine it and do what is needed to keep it working well:

I’m having the car serviced next week.

⇨ ↑ servicing

2 . to provide people with something they need or want:

schools that service local communities

3 . service a debt/loan technical to pay the ↑ interest on a debt

• • •


▪ repair to do some work on something that is damaged or not working properly, so that it is in good condition again:

The builders are coming to repair the roof.


Have you had the washing machine repaired yet?

▪ fix especially American English to repair something:

I’m taking the car in to get it fixed.


The chain on the bike needs fixing.

▪ mend especially British English to repair something that is damaged, torn, or not working:

I’ve found someone who’ll mend the fence.


Can you mend this sweater for me?


Fishermen sat mending their nets in the sunshine.

▪ service to check a vehicle or machine and repair it if necessary, especially regularly:

You should have your car serviced every six months.


When was the last time we had the gas boiler serviced?

▪ renovate to repair an old building so that it looks in good condition again:

They bought an old house and renovated it themselves.

▪ restore to repair something old and valuable, especially a building, piece of furniture, painting etc, so that it looks the same as it did originally:

Many paintings were damaged in the fire but have now been restored.


The hotel was restored to its original Victorian splendour in 1984.

▪ do up British English informal , fix up American English informal to repair an old building or vehicle, so that it looks in good condition again:

He does up old cars and sells them.


A builder bought the house and fixed it up.

▪ patch something up to quickly repair something that has a hole in it, by putting a piece of material on it, especially temporarily:

They patched up the wall with bits of cement.

▪ darn to repair holes in clothes:

Are you any good at darning socks?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.