1. n. & v.
1. the act of helping or doing work for another or for a community etc.
2 work done in this way.
3 assistance or benefit given to someone.
4 the provision or system of supplying a public need, e.g. transport, or (often in pl.) the supply of water, gas, electricity, telephone, etc.
5 a the fact or status of being a servant. b employment or a position as a servant.
6 a state or period of employment doing work for an individual or organization (resigned after 15 years' service).
7 a a public or Crown department or organization employing officials working for the State (civil service; secret service). b employment in this.
8 (in pl.) the armed forces.
9 (attrib.) of the kind issued to the armed forces (a service revolver).
10 a a ceremony of worship according to prescribed forms. b a form of liturgy for this.
11 a the provision of what is necessary for the installation and maintenance of a machine etc. or operation. b a periodic routine maintenance of a motor vehicle etc.
12 assistance or advice given to customers after the sale of goods.
13 a the act or process of serving food, drinks, etc. b an extra charge nominally made for this.
14 a set of dishes, plates, etc., used for serving meals (a dinner service).
15 Tennis etc. a the act or an instance of serving. b a person's turn to serve. c the manner or quality of serving. d (in full service game) a game in which a particular player serves.
1. provide service or services for, esp. maintain.
2 maintain or repair (a car, machine, etc.).
3 pay interest on (a debt).
4 supply with a service.
Phrases and idioms:
at a person's service ready to serve or assist a person. be of service be available to assist. in service
1. employed as a servant.
2 available for use. on active service serving in the armed forces in wartime. out of service not available for use.
1. have experience of service, esp. in the armed forces.
2 (of a thing) be much used.
1. an area beside a major road for the supply of petrol, refreshments, etc.
2 the area served by a broadcasting station. service-book a book of authorized forms of worship of a Church. service bus (or car) Austral. & NZ a motor coach. service charge an additional charge for service in a restaurant, hotel, etc. service dress ordinary military etc. uniform. service flat a flat in which domestic service and sometimes meals are provided by the management. service industry one providing services not goods. service line (in tennis etc.) a line marking the limit of the area into which the ball must be served. service road a road parallel to a main road, serving houses, shops, etc. service station an establishment beside a road selling petrol and oil etc. to motorists and often able to carry out maintenance. take service with become a servant to.
Etymology: ME f. OF service or L servitium f. servus slave 2. n. (in full service tree) a European tree of the genus Sorbus, esp. S. domestica with toothed leaves, cream-coloured flowers, and small round or pear-shaped fruit eaten when overripe.
Phrases and idioms:
1. the fruit of the service tree.
2 a any American shrub of the genus Amelanchier. b the edible fruit of this.
Etymology: earlier serves, pl. of obs. serve f. OE syrfe f. Gmc surbhjon ult. f. L sorbus