serve (one's) purpose

(redirected from served their purpose)

serve (one's) purpose

To fit or satisfy someone's requirements; to be useful for or fit to achieve someone's aim, goal, or purpose. Well, it isn't a very pretty car, but it should serve our purpose just fine. Child: "But mom, I want a smartphone!" Mother: "Nonsense, the cell phone you already have serves your purpose just fine."
See also: purpose, serve

serve a, his, its, etc. ˈpurpose


serve the ˈpurpose (of doing something)

(British English also serve his, its, etc. ˈturn) be useful for a particular purpose or period of time; be good or useful enough for somebody: It’s not a very good radio, but it serves its purpose.He used his friends and then abandoned them when they had served their turn.
See also: purpose, serve
References in classic literature ?
They had served their purpose too in deceiving von Horn who was now half convinced that Professor Maxon must have divulged more of their plans to his daughter than he had led the medical man to believe.
Like the archers, they never returned, but, having served their purpose, vanished with the bowmen when the rout of the enemy was assured.
There will always be archive photos and films of it to remember it by for posterity, but it needs to be consigned to the past - just as the Gateshead car park was, and many other buildings from the past have been that have served their purpose well in time, but have now just become unused eyesores.