slang To serve a prison sentence. Did you hear that Rick's an ex-con? He did time back in the '70s. If you keep stealing things, you might ending up doing time one day.
To spend time in jail as part of a prison sentence. The CEO is now serving time for his role in defrauding thousands of customers. No way am I getting involved with your scheme. I have no interest in serving time again.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Sl. to serve a sentence in prison; to serve a specific amount of time in prison. Lefty had done time on a number of occasions. You'd better talk and talk fast if you don't want to do time.
to spend a certain amount of time in jail. The criminal served ten years in jail. After the felon served his time, he was released from prison.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Serve a prison sentence, as in Many of the gang members did time while they were still teenagers. This expression originated as underworld slang and is now standard usage. [c. 1860]
Undergo a prison sentence; also, work at a particular task, especially an undesirable one. For example, We couldn't hire him when we learned that he had served time for robbery, or I applied for a transfer after serving time in that chaotic department. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
do/serve ˈtime(informal) be in prison: He had done time for robbing a bank. ♢ Two of the gang are serving time for murder.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
tv. to serve a sentence in prison; to serve a specific amount of time in prison. (see also hard time.) You’d better talk and talk fast if you don’t want to do time.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.