serve 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.
See also: serve, time

serve time

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.
See also: serve, time

serve 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.
See also: serve, time

serve time

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]
See also: serve, time

do/serve ˈtime

(informal) be in prison: He had done time for robbing a bank.Two of the gang are serving time for murder.
See also: serve, time
References in periodicals archive ?
Geraghty has a couple of other interesting rides at the meeting, including Serve Time in the Kinnegad Beginners Chase (7.
Showers has a catalogue of previous offences that has already seen him serve time in prisons on the continent.
The 25-year-old Jason not only was previously forbidden by a judge from harassing his mother and father because he had vandalized his mother's property and beat his father, he had also been charged with vehicle theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, drunk driving, and failure to serve time in jail.