serve to

serve (something) to (someone or something)

1. To provide or present some food or beverage to someone, some group, some organization, etc. I can't believe you would serve veal to your guests without making sure no one had a problem with it! Honey, would you go out and serve some wine to our guests while I finish preparing dinner?
2. To provide or present a formal notice or announcement to someone, some group, some organization, etc. I can't believe he served an eviction notice to his tenants just a week before Christmas. Federal investigators served a search warrant to the multinational tech company in a crackdown on tax evasion.
See also: serve, to

serve to do (something)

To have the function or purpose of doing something. The lighting in the scene serves to underscore the character's emotional turmoil. These are just examples—they serve to give you a sense of what the exam will look like.
See also: serve, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

serve something to someone

1. to present someone with something to eat or drink. The host served the snacks to everyone and left the room to work on the salad. The snacks were served to everyone in attendance.
2. to officially deliver something, such as a subpoena, to someone. The sheriff at the door was there to serve a subpoena to Fred. She served the papers to the person who lived there.
See also: serve, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A deep serve to the strong-hand side makes a great balance to the weak-handed direction.
* The two-wall deep serve to the center of the court.
"The members, the programs and the opportunities serve to remind us that what we do every day, on a one-to-one basis, does matter.
Serve from Position #1 to their Position #1 or from our #5 to their #5, as these cover the greatest distances, making them best for hard servers from out of the back of the court or from our #6 serve to their shooter #6.
Serve to the front middle hitter if he is in the serve-receiving patterns, as this will reduce his ability to hit a quick middle set.
Instead of loosely defined relationships between vendor and customer, this decade will require suppliers to serve to an even greater extent as an extension of their customer's manufacturing arm.
Our role in such a partnership is to be readily available to meet the needs of the customer, regardless of what those needs may be, and to use our technical and processing expertise to the utmost advantage of the customer, even to the extent of making unsolicited recommendations or suggestions that may serve to increase the customer's profitability and market share.