serve (one's) time(redirected from serve one's time)
serve (one's) time
To spend the amount of time in jail as required by one's prison sentence. After serving his time, the assailant will be deported back to his home country. There's no need to harass him; he served his time and paid his debt to society.
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.
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.
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]