1836 (implied in Sorbian), from Ger. Sorbe, from Slavic Serb, the national designation. Slavic people surviving in Lusatia, eastern Saxony, also known as Wends.
"fruit of the service tree," 1530, from Fr. sorbe, from L. sorbum "service-berry" (small, edible fruit of the European mountain ash), from sorbus, from PIE base *sor-/*ser- "red, reddish-brown." Hence sorbic acid (1815), so called because it was first isolated from these berries.