follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

serving

[sur-ving] /ˈsɜr vɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of a person or thing that serves.
2.
a single portion of food or drink; helping.
3.
Electricity. a layer of material, as jute yarn or tape, that is applied to the core or the exterior of a lead-covered cable and acts as a protective covering.
adjective
4.
for use in distributing food to or at the table:
a serving tray.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; see serve, -ing1
Related forms
unserving, adjective

serve

[surv] /sɜrv/
verb (used without object), served, serving.
1.
to act as a servant.
2.
to wait on table, as a waiter.
3.
to offer or have a meal or refreshments available, as for patrons or guests:
Come early, we're serving at six.
4.
to offer or distribute a portion or portions of food or a beverage, as a host or hostess:
It was her turn to serve at the faculty tea.
5.
to render assistance; be of use; help.
6.
to go through a term of service; do duty as a soldier, sailor, senator, juror, etc.
7.
to have definite use:
This cup will serve as a sugar bowl.
8.
to answer the purpose:
That will serve to explain my actions.
9.
(in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.) to put the ball or shuttlecock in play with a stroke, swing, or hit.
10.
to be favorable, suitable, or convenient, as weather or time.
11.
Ecclesiastical. to act as a server.
verb (used with object), served, serving.
12.
to be in the service of; work for.
13.
to be useful or of service to; help.
14.
to go through (a term of service, imprisonment, etc.).
15.
to render active service to (a sovereign, commander, etc.).
16.
to render obedience or homage to (God, a sovereign, etc.).
17.
to perform the duties of (a position, an office, etc.):
to serve his mayoralty.
18.
to answer the requirements of; suffice:
This will serve our needs for the moment.
19.
to contribute to; promote:
to serve a cause.
20.
to wait upon at table; act as a waiter or waitress to.
21.
to carry and distribute (portions of food or drink) to a patron or a specific table, as a waiter or waitress.
22.
to act as a host or hostess in offering (a person) a portion of food or drink:
May I serve you with some tea and cake?
23.
to act as a host or hostess in offering or distributing (a portion or portions of food or drink) to another:
They served tea and cake to their guests.
24.
to provide with a regular or continuous supply of something.
25.
(in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.) to put (the ball or shuttlecock) in play.
26.
to treat in a specified manner:
That served him ill.
27.
Law.
  1. to make legal delivery of (a process or writ).
  2. to present (a person) with a writ.
28.
to gratify (desire, wants, needs, etc.).
29.
(of a male animal) to mate with; service.
30.
to operate or keep in action (a gun, artillery, etc.).
31.
Nautical. to wrap (a rope) tightly with small stuff, keeping the turns as close together as possible.
noun
32.
the act, manner, or right of serving, as in tennis.
Idioms
33.
serve one right, to treat one as one deserves, especially to punish justly:
It will serve you right if she never speaks to you again.
Origin
1125-75; Middle English serven < Old French servir < Latin servīre, equivalent to serv(us) slave (cf. serf) + -īre infinitive suffix
Related forms
servable, serveable, adjective
overserve, verb (used with object)
underserved, adjective
unservable, adjective
unserved, adjective
well-served, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. attend. 5. aid, succor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for serving
  • Transfer the opened clams with a pair of chopsticks or tongs to a warm serving platter and keep warm.
  • Many ranchers supplement their incomes by serving as outfitters or guides, packing hunters into the backcountry.
  • One of the two roadside restaurants is serving paca-a large rodent that is remarkably tasty fried.
  • Have students write menus that list the foods they will be serving.
  • He remains the icon of righteousness, and the qualities that make him so keep serving as a guiding light to others.
  • Indigenous subjects and themes are often pushed to the margins or end up serving as a backdrop for non-native storylines.
  • Place the fries on top of a mound of cheese curds on a serving plate.
  • Best when refrigerated one to three days before serving.
  • Pound veal until one-fourth inch thick and cut in pieces for serving.
  • Remove to serving dish, place a paper frill on each chop, and garnish with parsley.
British Dictionary definitions for serving

serving

/ˈsɜːvɪŋ/
noun
1.
a portion or helping of food or drink

serve

/sɜːv/
verb
1.
to be in the service of (a person)
2.
to render or be of service to (a person, cause, etc); help
3.
(in a shop) to give (customers) information about articles for sale and to hand over articles purchased
4.
(transitive) to provide (guests, customers, etc) with food, drink, etc: she served her guests with cocktails
5.
to distribute or provide (food, drink, etc) for guests, customers, etc: do you serve coffee?
6.
(transitive) sometimes foll by up. to present (food, drink, etc) in a specified manner: cauliflower served with cheese sauce
7.
(transitive) to provide with a regular supply of
8.
(transitive) to work actively for: to serve the government
9.
(transitive) to pay homage to: to serve God
10.
to answer the requirements of; suit: this will serve my purpose
11.
(intransitive; may take an infinitive) to have a use; function: this wood will serve to build a fire
12.
to go through (a period of service, enlistment, imprisonment, etc)
13.
(intransitive) (of weather, conditions, etc) to be favourable or suitable
14.
(transitive) Also service. (of a male animal) to copulate with (a female animal)
15.
(sport) to put (the ball) into play
16.
(intransitive) (RC Church) to act as server at Mass or other services
17.
(transitive) to deliver (a legal document, esp a writ or summons) to (a person)
18.
to provide (a machine, etc) with an impulse or signal for control purposes or with a continuous supply of fuel, working material, etc
19.
(transitive) (nautical) to bind (a rope, spar, etc) with wire or fine cord to protect it from chafing, etc See also seize (sense 8)
20.
(informal) serve a person right, to pay a person back, esp for wrongful or foolish treatment or behaviour
noun
21.
(sport) short for service1 (sense 17)
22.
(Austral) a portion or helping of food or drink
Derived Forms
servable, serveable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French servir, from Latin servīre, from servus a slave
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for serving
n.

"action of serving," c.1200, verbal noun from serve (v.). As "a helping of food" from 1769.

serve

v.

late 12c., "to render habitual obedience to," also "minister, give aid, give help," from Old French servir "to do duty toward, show devotion to; set table, serve at table; offer, provide with," from Latin servire "be a servant, be in service, be enslaved;" figuratively "be devoted; be governed by; comply with; conform; flatter," originally "be a slave," related to servus "slave," perhaps from Etruscan (cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve, Latinized as Servius).

By c.1200 also as "to be in the service of, perform a service for; attend upon, be personal servant to; be a slave; owe allegiance to; officiate at Mass or other religious rites;" from early 13c. as "set food at table;" mid-14c. as "to wait on (customers)." From late 14c. as "treat (someone or something) in some fashion." To serve (someone) right "to treat as he deserves" is recorded from 1580s.

He no schuld neuer wond
To seruen him fro fot to hond
["Amis and Amiloun," c.1330]
Sense of "be useful, be beneficial, be suitable for a purpose or function" is from early 14c.; that of "take the place or meet the needs of, be equal to the task" is from late 14c.; that of "suffice" is from mid-15c. Meaning "render active military service" is from 1510s. Sporting sense, in tennis, badminton, etc., first recorded 1580s. Legal sense "present" (a writ, warrant,etc.), "give legal notice of" is from early 15c.

n.

1680s, in sports (tennis, etc.), from serve (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with serving
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for serving

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for serving

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with serving