English dictionary

Info: This web site is based on WordNet 3.0 from Princeton University.

English noun: serve

1. serve (act) (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play

SamplesHis powerful serves won the game.


Broader (hypernym)tennis shot, tennis stroke

Narrower (hyponym)ace, fault, let, net ball

Domain categorybadminton, lawn tennis, squash, squash rackets, squash racquets, tennis

English verb: serve

1. serve (stative) serve a purpose, role, or function

SamplesThe tree stump serves as a table.
The female students served as a control group.
This table would serve very well.
His freedom served him well.
The table functions as a desk.


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)answer, do, serve, suffice

Narrower (hyponym)act as, prelude

Verb groupserve, service

2. serve (competition) do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function

SamplesHe served as head of the department for three years.
She served in Congress for two terms.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)do work, work

Narrower (hyponym)act, caddie, caddy, function, officiate, represent, rotate, sit, staff

Verb groupserve

3. serve (stative) contribute or conduce to

SamplesThe scandal served to increase his popularity.

Pattern of useSomething is ----ing PP.
Somebody ----s to INFINITIVE

Broader (hypernym)effect, effectuate, set up

Narrower (hyponym)facilitate, help

Verb groupserve, serve well

4. serve (social) be used by; as of a utility

SamplesThe sewage plant served the neighboring communities.
The garage served to shelter his horses.


Pattern of useSomething is ----ing PP.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something.
Somebody ----s to INFINITIVE

Broader (hypernym)function, go, operate, run, work

Verb groupfunction, serve

5. serve (consumption) help to some food; help with food or drink

SamplesI served him three times, and after that he helped himself.

ExamplesSam cannot serve Sue


Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)cater, ply, provide, supply

Verb groupdish, dish out, dish up, serve, serve up

6. serve (consumption) provide (usually but not necessarily food)

SamplesWe serve meals for the homeless.
She dished out the soup at 8 P.M..
The entertainers served up a lively show.

ExamplesThe chefs serve the vegetables

Synonymsdish, dish out, dish up, serve up

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)cater, ply, provide, supply

Narrower (hyponym)plank

Verb grouphelp, serve

7. serve (social) devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas

SamplesShe served the art of music.
He served the church.
Serve the country.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)work

Verb groupassist, attend, attend to, serve, wait on

8. serve (stative) promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to

SamplesArt serves commerce.
Their interests are served.
The lake serves recreation.
The President's wisdom has served the country well.

Synonymsserve well

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)foster, nurture

Verb groupserve

9. serve (stative) spend time in prison or in a labor camp

SamplesHe did six years for embezzlement.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)pass, spend

Narrower (hyponym)admit

10. serve (social) work for or be a servant to

SamplesMay I serve you?.
She attends the old lady in the wheelchair.
Can you wait on our table, please?.
Is a salesperson assisting you?.
The minister served the King for many years.

ExamplesSam cannot serve Sue

Synonymsassist, attend, attend to, wait on

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s somebody with something

Broader (hypernym)aid, assist, help

Narrower (hyponym)fag, valet

Verb groupserve

11. serve (contact) deliver a warrant or summons to someone

SamplesHe was processed by the sheriff.

Synonymsprocess, swear out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody with something

Broader (hypernym)deliver

Narrower (hyponym)rinse, subpoena, wash

12. serve (stative) be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity

SamplesA few words would answer.
This car suits my purpose well.
Will $100 do?.
A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school.
Nothing else will serve.

Synonymsanswer, do, suffice

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)fulfil, fulfill, live up to, satisfy

Narrower (hyponym)bridge over, function, go a long way, go around, keep going, measure up, qualify, serve, tide over

13. serve (social) do military service

SamplesShe served in Vietnam.
My sons never served, because they are short-sighted.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)do work, work

Verb groupserve

14. serve (contact) mate with

SamplesMale animals serve the females for breeding purposes.


Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)copulate, couple, mate, pair

Narrower (hyponym)stand

15. serve (competition) put the ball into play

SamplesIt was Agassi's turn to serve.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)go, move

Narrower (hyponym)ace

Domain categorycourt game

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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