serve to do (something)

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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 ?
You can experiment with hitting these short serves to the right and left from two positions: the left third of the service box and the right third of the service box.
Although velocity of a serve does not seem to be a useful measure of behavioral momentum in volleyball, the drop in velocity from the control serves to the timeout serves could be construed as a loss of "momentum." The difference in velocity was less than one mile per hour and may not be reliable in this study as the radar gun's lowest sensitivity was one mile per hour.
When this is compounded with the absence of side walls, allowing sharply angled hooking serves to force the receiver to go as much as 15 feet off the court in attempted retrieves, the serve can be absolutely devastating.
The preferred choices are thus a low angle to the far side line, a low serve down the near side line or deep serves to the left, center or right.