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serve

Pronunciation: /sɜːrv; sɜːv/

Translation of serve in Spanish:

transitive verb/verbo transitivo

  • 1 (work for) [God/monarch/party] servir* a he has served his country/firm faithfully ha servido fielmente a la patria/a su compañía she has served the company for over 25 years lleva más de 25 años al servicio de la compañía
  • 2 (help, be useful to) servir* his experience served him well la experiencia le sirvió de mucho or le fue muy útil if (my) memory serves me right si la memoria me es fiel, si la memoria no me falla it serves a variety of purposes sirve para varias cosas it serves no useful purpose no sirve para nada (útil) to serve sb as sth servirle* a algn de algo the knife served him as a screwdriver el cuchillo le sirvió de destornillador to serve sb right [colloquial/familiar] it serves her right! ¡se lo merece!, ¡lo tiene bien merecido!, ¡le está bien empleado! (Spain/España) it serves you right for ignoring me lo tienes bien merecido por no hacerme caso, te está bien empleado por no hacerme caso (Spain/España)
  • 3 3.1 [Cookery/Cocina] [food/drink] servir* go ahead, serve yourselves! ¡adelante, sírvanse! we don't serve children here no se admiten niños who's serving our table? (British English/inglés británico) ¿quién nos atiende? this cake serves six este pastel es para seis serves four (in recipe) para cuatro personas (on packet) cuatro raciones or porciones dinner is served [formal] la cena está servida can I serve you some more fish? ¿le sirvo más pescado? 3.2 (in shop) (British English/inglés británico) [customer] atender* are you being served? ¿lo atienden? I'm being served, thank you me están atendiendo, gracias
    Example sentences
    • This recipe makes enough to serve four as a main course, more as a side dish.
    • Thai food is significantly less meat-intensive than American, and half a pound of meat is enough to serve four.
  • 4 4.1 (supply) [person/area] abastecer* to serve sth/sb with sth abastecer* a algo/algn de algo 4.2 [Transport/Transporte] the village is not served by public transport el pueblo no tiene (servicio de) transporte público the bus route serving Newtown el servicio or la línea de autobuses que va a Newtown Riem airport serves Munich Riem es el aeropuerto de Munich
    Example sentences
    • The basic initial idea is to have small buses, serving local areas providing daytime services to those most needing them.
    • Would it be better to have a team of priests in a central house serving a group of parishes?
    • As a market hall serving a bustling group of traders and agricultural merchants, it must have been perfect for the job.
  • 5 [Law/Derecho] [summons/notice/order] entregar*, hacer* entrega deto serve sth on sbto serve sb with sth they served a summons on all the directors todos los directivos recibieron una citación judicial or fueron citados para comparecer ante el juez she was served with divorce papers recibió notificación or fue notificada de la demanda de divorcio
    Example sentences
    • Writs were served on 30 councillors, who were jailed for their pains in September 1921.
    • He said the minister would be seeking quashing of the arrest warrant against him on the ground that no summons were served on him.
    • Empanelling a grand jury empowers prosecutors both to serve subpoenas, and to gather testimony under oath.
    Example sentences
    • While defendant was in custody awaiting an extradition hearing he was served with the Complaint herein.
    • When the breath tests were completed, he was served with the appropriate documentation and released on a promise to appear.
    • As a consequence, the police were unable to locate him to serve him with a subpoena.
  • 6 (complete) [apprenticeship] hacer*; [sentence] cumplir he had served only a month of his presidency solo había cumplido un mes de su mandato presidencial he served ten years for armed robbery cumplió diez años de condena por robo a mano armada
    Example sentences
    • He is still liable to serve ten years in prison for traces of heroin in a needle found at his house.
    • And after serving a prison term for committing a financial crime, he convinced the prison librarian to move with him to his hometown.
    • These resisters are arrested, tried, and often sentenced to serve long terms in prison and jail.
  • 7 [Sport/Deporte] to serve the ball/shuttlecock sacar* to serve a double fault hacer* una doble falta

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo

  • 1 1.1 (be servant) [literary/literario] servir* 1.2 (in shop) (British English/inglés británico) atender*
    Example sentences
    • Called Serenade, the Victoria Road shop was serving its first customers today.
    • The shop served its last customers on Friday after being based on Newmarket Street for more than 17 years.
    • Mark, Andrew and Esther were in the shop front, serving customers.
    1.3 (distribute food) servir* who's going to serve? ¿quién va a servir? to serve at table servir* la mesa
    Example sentences
    • Isabelle received a cup of wine from a man serving drinks.
    • The working committee thank all who came and those who prepared the food and served the tea.
    • There are countless jobs and professions that are far more dangerous than serving food or drink in the presence of secondhand smoke.
    Example sentences
    • You are out there supporting and serving your professional organization.
    • He served these organizations for some 23 years till his retirement in March 1996.
    • I will continue to serve this organization with all my energy, wisdom, and passion as I have done in the past.
  • 2 (spend time, do duty) to serve in the army servir* en el ejército to serve on a committee integrar una comisión, ser* miembro de una comisión to serve as mayor ser* alcalde the serving president el presidente en ejercicio or en funciones
  • 3 (have effect, function) to serve to + infinitive/infinitivo servir* para + infinitive/infinitivo it only served to heighten tension solo sirvió para aumentar la tensión let this serve as a warning que esto te ( or les etc) sirva de advertencia it will serve as an example servirá de ejemplo it's not perfect, but it'll serve for now no es perfecto, pero de momento puede servir
    Example sentences
    • Also, officers have the added functions of setting goals and inspiring others to achieve them to serve this purpose.
    • They do not satisfy hunger and serve no purpose other than to make the companies that make them wealthy.
    • I don't think he serves any useful purpose for the Democrats.
    Example sentences
    • A sheet of red outdoor fabric serves as the roof.
    • Elastomer and fabric device serves as both a seal and a filter.
    • However, it just so happens that a human being standing on the ground near the object serves as a perfectly good conductor as well.
  • 4 [Religion/Religión] to serve at Mass ayudar en misa, hacer* de monaguillo (en la misa)
  • 5 [Sport/Deporte] sacar*, servir* it's your turn to serve te toca a ti sacar or servir
    Example sentences
    • Everyone fell silent though when the prince raised his racket and ball to serve.
    • The players exchange words at the beginning of the game as Scott accuses his opponent of failing to tell him he was serving with new balls in the previous game.
    • Before serving in the final game, Pierce had a trainer apply treatment and massage her aching shoulder.
    Example sentences
    • Safin made the crucial break at 4-4 in the final set, and served out the next game to clinch the match.
    • He served out the final game at love, hitting a 119 mph second serve for a winner on match point.
    • Davenport slammed three winners to serve out the final game for the win.

noun/nombre

Phrasal verbs

serve out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
(distribute) [portion/course] servir* 1.1 (complete) [apprenticeship/sentence] cumplir

serve up

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
1.1 (distribute) [food] servir* 1.2 (present, offer) [pejorative/peyorativo] ofrecer*

Definition of serve in:

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Cultural fact of the day

The current Spanish Constitution (Constitución Española) was approved in the Cortes Generales in December 1978. It describes Spain as a parliamentary monarchy, gives sovereign power to the people through universal suffrage, recognizes the plurality of religions, and transfers responsibility for defense from the armed forces to the government. The Constitution was generally well received, except in the Basque Country, whose desire for independence it did not satisfy. It is considered to have facilitated the successful transition from dictatorship to democracy.