Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
serve (someone) right
To be deserved under the circumstances: Punish him; it will serve him right for what he has done to you.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.