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The insincere verbal expression of something, especially friendship, loyalty, respect, support, etc. Used especially in the phrase "give/pay lip service to something." All of the grand promises the president made in her campaign speeches turned out to be nothing but lip service. The local council members pay lip service each year to a renewed plan to tackle homelessness, but no one ever expects them to follow through.
Service that is good enough, but in no way extravagant. This rickety wooden ladder has done me yeoman's service over the years, but now it's time to upgrade.
at your service
1. Available to help you with whatever you need. It is a set phrase. One math tutor, at your service! I'm totally at your service—just tell me what you need me to do.
2. Said upon meeting someone for the first time as a polite way of identifying oneself. A: "Is there a John Jones here?" B: "At your service, sir."
at someone's service
Fig. ready to help someone in any way. The count greeted me warmly and said, "Welcome to my home. Just let me know what you need. I'm at your service." The desk clerk said, "Good morning, madam. I'm at your service."
bring something into service
to begin to use something; to start something up. They are bringing a much larger boat into service next month. A newer machine will be brought into service next year.
Call my service.
Please don't call me directly, but through my answering service. (Not a friendly or encouraging invitation.) Good to talk to you, but I gotta go now. Call my service. I can't talk now. Call my service.
come into service
to begin to be used; to begin to operate and function as designed. When did this elevator. come into service? I think that this machine came into service during World War II.
go into service
to start operating. When will the new elevator go into service? It has already gone into service.
go into the service
to enter one of the military services. She went into the service when she got out of high school. I chose not to go into the service.
go out of service
[for something] to stop working; [for something] to have been turned off so it cannot be used. This elevator went out of service last week. How long has it been since this thing went out of service?
[of something] operating or operable. (See also put something in(to) service.) Is this elevator in service?
of service (to someone)
helping someone; serving someone. Good morning, madam. May I be of service to you? Welcome to the Warwick Hotel. May I be of service?
out of service
inoperable; not currently operating. Both elevators had been put out of service, so I had to use the stairs. The washroom is temporarily out of service.
pay lip service (to something)
Fig. to express loyalty, respect, or support for something insincerely. You don't really care about politics. You're just paying lip service to the candidate. Don't sit here and pay lip service. Get busy!
press someone or something into service
to force someone or something to serve or function. I don't think you can press him into service just yet. He isn't trained. I think that in an emergency, we could press this machine into service.
put something in (to) serviceand put something into use
to start to use a thing; to make a device operate and function. I hope that they are able to put the elevator into service again soon. I am tired of climbing stairs. We will put it in service within an hour. When can we put the new copier into use?
at somebody's service
ready to help someone as soon as they ask In this business, the customer comes first, and our employees need to remember that we are at their service.
press somebody into service
to persuade or force someone to do something Murphy pressed his sister into service to do the research.
press something into service
to use something for an unusual purpose A few buses and trucks were pressed into service, but the vast majority of refugees walked.
put something into service
to begin to use something The boat was sold to a Danish firm and put into service as a ferry on the North Sea.
Usage notes: usually said about something that is provided regularly
see service(slightly formal)
to be a member of the military He saw service during the Seven Years War and became an aide to Frederick the Great.
give/pay lip service to something
to say that you agree with and support an idea or plan but not do anything to help it to succeed The company pays lip service to the notion of racial equality but you look around you and all you see are white faces.See curl lip
at someone's service
Ready to help someone, at someone's disposal, as in The tour guide said he was at our service for the rest of the afternoon. [Second half of 1600s]
Verbal but insincere expression of agreement or support. It is often put as pay or give lip service , as in They paid lip service to holding an election next year, but they had no intention of doing so . [Mid-1600s]
of service to someone, be
Help someone, as in How can I be of service to you? This idiom uses service in the sense of "supplying someone's needs." [c. 1700]
press into service
Force someone or something to perform or function, as in Can I press you into service to help people find their coats? or The funeral drew such a large crowd that more chairs were pressed into service. This idiom transfers press in the sense of "seize and force someone to serve," as seamen once were, to other activities. It was first recorded in 1871.
Call my service
sent. Please call me through my answering service. (Not a friendly or encouraging invitation.) Good to talk to ya, babe. Call my service. Love ya!
at (someone's) service
Ready to help or be of use.
be of service
To be ready to help or be useful.