1. (sports) a stroke that puts the ball in play (synset 100569467)
    "his powerful serves won the game"
  1. Serve a purpose, role, or function (synset 202676679)
    "The 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"
  2. Do duty or hold offices;
    Serve in a specific function (synset 201097629)
    "He served as head of the department for three years"; "She served in Congress for two terms"
  3. Contribute or conduce to (synset 202676187)
    "The scandal served to increase his popularity"
  4. Be used by;
    As of a utility (synset 202546948)
    "The sewage plant served the neighboring communities"; "The garage served to shelter his horses"
  5. Help to some food;
    Help with food or drink (synset 201183592)
    "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"
  6. Provide (usually but not necessarily food) (synset 201182648)
    "We serve meals for the homeless"; "She dished out the soup at 8 P.M."; "The entertainers served up a lively show"
  7. Devote (part of) one's life or efforts to, as of countries, institutions, or ideas (synset 202599263)
    "She served the art of music"; "He served the church"; "serve the country"
  8. Promote, benefit, or be useful or beneficial to (synset 202676367)
    "Art serves commerce"; "Their interests are served"; "The lake serves recreation"; "The President's wisdom has served the country well"
  9. Spend time in prison or in a labor camp (synset 202714981)
    "He did six years for embezzlement"
  10. Work for or be a servant to (synset 202546367)
    "May 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"
  11. Deliver a warrant or summons to someone (synset 201441318)
    "He was processed by the sheriff"
  12. Be sufficient;
    Be adequate, either in quality or quantity (synset 202675578)
    "A 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"
  13. Do military service (synset 202416751)
    "She served in Vietnam"; "My sons never served, because they are short-sighted"
  14. Mate with (synset 201430644)
    "male animals serve the females for breeding purposes"
  15. Put the ball into play (synset 201079961)
    "It was Agassi's turn to serve"

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