To work for. To be a servant to. To prepare and offer (food, for example): serve tea. To place food before (someone); wait on: served the guests a wonderful dinner. To provide goods and services for (customers): a hotel that has served tourists at the same location for 30 years. To supply (goods or services) to customers. See Usage Note at service. To assist the celebrant during (Mass). To meet the requirements of; suffice for: This will serve the purpose. To be of assistance to or promote the interests of; aid: "Both major parties today seek to serve the national interest\u201d ( John F. Kennedy). To work through or complete (a period of service): served four terms in Congress. To be in prison for (a period or term): served 10 years for armed robbery. To fight or undergo military service for: served the country for five years in the navy. To give homage and obedience to: served God. To act toward (another) in a specified way: She has served me ill. To copulate with; service. Used of male animals. Law To deliver or present (a writ or summons). Law To present such a writ to. Sports To put (a ball or shuttlecock) in play, as in tennis, badminton, or jai alai. To bind or whip (a rope) with fine cord or wire. To be employed as a servant. To do a term of duty: serve in the U.S. Air Force; serve on a jury. To act in a particular capacity: serve as a clerk. To be of service or use; function: Let this incident serve as a reminder to future generations. To meet requirements or needs; satisfy: a device that will serve well. To wait on tables: serve at luncheon.