serve a purpose

(redirected from serve one's)

Serve a (useful) purpose

to be useful in accomplishing some purpose. This large book should serve a useful purpose. We can use it for a doorstop.
See also: purpose, serve

serve a purpose

Also, serve one's or the purpose . Be useful, meet the needs or requirements, satisfy, as in I don't know why they've added all this information but it probably serves a purpose, or It often serves his purpose to be vague, or We don't have a spading fork but this shovel should serve the purpose. This idiom was first recorded in 1513.
See also: purpose, serve
References in periodicals archive ?
Kauffman here defines life as being present in any system that reproduces itself and completes at least one thermodynamic work cycle--any activity involved in manipulating the surrounding environment to serve one's needs This startling theory suggests, among other things, that the "way [Isaac] Newton, [Albert] Einstein, and [Niels] Bohr taught us to do science may be incomplete," says Kauffman.