Share this entry

serve
British English: /səːv/
American English: /sərv/

Translation of serve in French:

noun

  • (Sport) it's my serve
    à moi de servir
    to have a big serve
    avoir un très bon service

transitive verb

  • 1 (work for)
    servir (God, King, country, community, cause, ideal, public, company)
    travailler au service de (employer, family)
    to serve somebody/something well
    rendre de grands services à quelqu'un/quelque chose
    to serve two masters
    [figurative]
    servir deux maîtres à la fois
  • 2 (attend to customers) are you being served?
    on vous sert?
  • 3 (Culinary)
    servir (client, guest, meal, dish)
    to serve somebody with something
    servir quelque chose à quelqu'un
    let me serve you some beef
    laissez-moi vous servir du bœuf
    lunch is served we can't serve them chicken again!
    nous ne pouvons pas leur resservir du poulet!
    serve it with a salad
    servez-le avec une salade
    serve hot
    servir chaud
    serves four (in recipe)
    pour quatre personnes
  • 4 (provide facility)
    (public utility, power station, reservoir)
    alimenter
    (public transport, library, hospital)
    desservir (area, community)
    the area is well/poorly served with transport
    la région est bien/mal desservie par les transports
    the area is well served with shops
    le quartier est très commerçant
  • 6 (function)
    être utile à
    this old pen/my sense of direction has served me well
    ce vieux stylo/mon sens de l'orientation m'a été très utile
    he has been badly served by his advisers
    ses conseillers ne lui ont pas été très utiles
    if my memory serves me well to serve somebody as something
    servir de quelque chose à quelqu'un
    the table serves me as a desk
    la table me sert de bureau
    to serve a purpose ou function to serve no useful purpose
    ne servir à rien
    what purpose is served by separating them?
    à quoi sert de les séparer?
    having served its purpose, the committee was disbanded
    ayant rempli son rôle, la commission a été dissoute
    to serve the ou somebody's purpose
    faire l'affaire
    this map will serve the ou my purpose
    cette carte fera l'affaire
  • 7 (spend time) to serve a term
    (Politics)
    remplir un mandat
    to serve one's time (in army)
    faire son temps de service
    (in prison) purger sa peine
    to serve a sentence
    purger une peine (de prison)
    to serve five years
    faire cinq ans de prison
  • 8 (Law)
    délivrer (injunction) (on somebody à quelqu'un)
    to serve a writ
    signifier une assignation
    to serve a writ on somebody, to serve somebody with a writ
    assigner quelqu'un en justice
    to serve a summons
    signifier une citation
    to serve a summons on somebody, to serve somebody with a summons
    citer quelqu'un à comparaître
    to serve notice of something on somebody
    (Law) [figurative]
    signifier quelque chose à quelqu'un

intransitive verb

  • 2 (on committee, in government)
    exercer ses fonctions (as de)
    members serve for two years
    les membres exercent leurs fonctions pendant deux ans
    she's serving as general secretary
    elle exerce la fonction or les fonctions de secrétaire général
    to serve on
    être membre de (committee, board, jury)
  • 3 (Military)
    servir (as comme) (under sous)
    to serve in ou with a regiment
    servir dans un régiment
    I served with him
    j'étais dans l'armée avec lui
  • 4 (meet a need)
    faire l'affaire
    any excuse will serve
    n'importe quelle excuse fera l'affaire
    to serve as something
    servir de quelque chose
    this room serves as a spare bedroom
    cette pièce sert de chambre d'ami
    this should serve as a warning
    cela devrait nous servir d'avertissement
    the photo served as a reminder to me of the holidays
    la photo me rappelait les vacances
    to serve to do it serves to show that…
    cela sert à montrer que…
  • 5 (Sport)
    servir (for pour)
    Conti to serve
    au service, Conti

Idioms

it serves you right!

ça t'apprendra!

it serves him right for being so careless!

ça lui apprendra à être si négligent!

Phrasal verbs

serve out

serve out [something], serve [something] out 1.1 (Culinary)
servir (meal, food) (to à)
distribuer (rations, provisions)
1.2 (finish)
finir (term of duty)
purger (prison sentence)

serve up

(Culinary)
1 2 serve up [something], serve [something] up 2.1 (Culinary) to serve something up again
resservir quelque chose
2.2
[informal]
[figurative] [pejorative]
resservir (fashion, idea, programme, policy)
donner (excuse)

Definition of serve in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

QUIZ


    Next Score: