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[sur-ver] /ˈsɜr vər/
a person who serves.
a person who waits on tables; a waiter or waitress.
something that serves or is used in serving, as a salver.
a broad fork, spoon, or spatula for dishing out and serving individual portions of food, as vegetables, cake, or pie.
Ecclesiastical. an attendant on the priest at Mass, who arranges the altar, makes the responses, etc.
(in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.) the player who puts the ball or shuttlecock in play.
a computer that makes services, as access to data files, programs, and peripheral devices, available to workstations on a network.
Compare client (def 5), file server.
Origin of server
1350-1400; Middle English; see serve, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for server
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And if it took this form for the others, which would it take for May server?

    The Sacred Fount Henry James
  • Before dishes are put on, the Steward enters first, then the server.

  • Before him goes Death, his server, hastening the last mercy with eager steps.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • It would be interesting to know who this server of the cure was.

    The Church of Grasmere Mary L. Armitt
  • For the last time the server removed the Missal, and brought it back to the right-hand side.

British Dictionary definitions for server


a person who serves
(mainly RC Church) a person who acts as acolyte or assists the priest at Mass
something that is used in serving food and drink
the player who serves in racket games
(computing) a computer or program that supplies data or resources to other machines on a network
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for server

late 14c., agent noun from serve (v.). Computer sense by 1992.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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server in Science
A computer that manages centralized data storage or network communications resources. A server provides and organizes access to these resources for other computers linked to it.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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server in Culture

server definition

Computer or software that performs administration or coordination functions within a network.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for server



: As many as 10 ''servers,'' slang for dealers, worked out of the Keefe house (1990s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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server in Technology

1. A program which provides some service to other (client) programs. The connection between client and server is normally by means of message passing, often over a network, and uses some protocol to encode the client's requests and the server's responses. The server may run continuously (as a daemon), waiting for requests to arrive or it may be invoked by some higher level daemon which controls a number of specific servers (inetd on Unix).
There are many servers associated with the Internet, such as those for HTTP, Network File System, Network Information Service (NIS), Domain Name System (DNS), FTP, news, finger, Network Time Protocol. On Unix, a long list can be found in /etc/services or in the NIS database "services". See client-server.
2. A computer which provides some service for other computers connected to it via a network. The most common example is a file server which has a local disk and services requests from remote clients to read and write files on that disk, often using Sun's Network File System (NFS) protocol or Novell Netware on PCs. Another common example is a web server.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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