serve (one) right

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serve (one) right

To be or deliver the appropriate or deserved consequence(s) for one's improper actions. It serves John right that Dave threw him out of his party last night. He was acting like such a jerk! My girlfriend broke up with me after she found out I had been cheating on her. Serves me right, I suppose. You tripped while making fun of those kids? Serves you right!
See also: right, serve

serve someone right

[for an act or event] to punish someone fairly (for doing something). John copied off my test paper. It would serve him right if he fails the test. It'd serve John right if he got arrested.
See also: right, serve

serve one right

Be deserved under the circumstances. For example, That punishment serves him right after what he's done to you. It is also put as serves you right, as in It wasn't accepted? Serves you right for applying so late. These idioms use serve in the sense of "treat in a specified manner," in this case, justly. [Late 1500s]
See also: one, right, serve

it serves someone right


serves someone right

COMMON If you say it serves someone right or serves someone right when something unpleasant happens to them, you mean that it is their own fault and you have no sympathy for them. Matt Walker has retired early from his day's surfing with a broken board. It serves him right, he says, for trying to surf bad water. Serves her right for being so stubborn.
See also: right, serve, someone

serve somebody ˈright (for doing something)

(informal) used to say that something that has happened to somebody is their own fault and they deserve it: After the way you’ve treated her, it will serve you right if she never speaks to you again!I told you the dog would bite if you teased it. It serves you right.
See also: right, serve, somebody

serve (someone) right

To be deserved under the circumstances: Punish him; it will serve him right for what he has done to you.
See also: right, serve
References in periodicals archive ?
If our mammary serves us right, Lady Gaga sought action against Icecreamists in 2011 over their breast-milk flavour, Baby Gaga.
Klopp, now second bottom of the Bundesliga, said: "That we stand here like complete idiots serves us right.
It serves us right for watching Jackanory instead of Johnny Ball when we were younger.
If memory serves us right, Hunnam claimed he was taking the part seriously and wanted to look good in the suits.
Dennis told the examiner: "It serves us right for getting married in January.
Serves us right, because not everything in the world of equality is best for us.
Peter said: "People said it serves us right for living here, but we bought this house on the council's promise it would be a good place to live, our mistake was to belive them.
The economy will get worse, but it serves us right.
Some think we are careless guzzlers and it serves us right.
While Meades's film does poke fun at us - taking a gondola to one of the least prepossessing stretches of the city's canals serves us right for our over-laboured comparison with Venice - he is sufficiently in sympathy to go with the grain of our ownselo cking humour, so none but the most uptight of marketing professionals is likely to take offence.
In a review of Nigger Heaven, Rogers did not blame Van Vechten or his publishers for coming out with the novel, for they were merely responding to public demand: "If so-called Negroes" want "the more respectable" side of life presented, they must do it themselves or support those who do - "Until this is done, I say, it serves us right.
It's proven that by wiping out any lawn or soil that would absorb rainfall, we add to the likelihood of floods, which some might say serves us right for brutishly building over the habitat of peaceable insects and animals.
if memory serves us right, isn't it also a house full of dog poo?
But if memory serves us right, Huggy wouldn't have been seen dead with a poncy Louis Vuitton clutch-bag