serving


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 the purpose

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

serve (one) the same sauce

To treat one the same way that one has treated you—usually poorly. Of course she's not invited to the dinner party! She didn't invite me to her last soiree, so I'm serving her the same sauce.
See also: same, sauce, serve

serve two masters

To simultaneously tend to or support or devote oneself to two different—often conflicting—responsibilities, pursuits, ideas, or people. It comes from the Biblical phrase, "No man can serve two masters." You need to decide if you are married to your wife or to your work because you simply cannot serve two masters.
See also: master, serve, two

serve a purpose

To fit or satisfy the necessary requirements; to be useful for or fit to achieve some aim, goal, or purpose. Well, it isn't very flashy, but this old truck ought to serve a purpose somewhere on the ranch. I hope that my lessons served a purpose in my students' lives.
See also: purpose, serve

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!
See also: right, serve

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've no interest in serving time again.
See also: serve, time

Serve a (useful) purpose

to be useful in accomplishing some purpose. This large book should serve a useful purpose. We can use it for a doorstop.
See also: purpose, serve

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 a purpose

Also, serve one's or the purpose . Be useful, meet the needs or requirements, satisfy, as in I don't know why they've added all this information but it probably serves a purpose, or It often serves his purpose to be vague, or We don't have a spading fork but this shovel should serve the purpose. This idiom was first recorded in 1513.
See also: purpose, serve

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

serve two masters

FORMAL
If a person or organization tries to serve two masters, they try to be loyal to two opposing principles, beliefs or organizations. An organization such as the BBC can either make a profit or provide an excellent public service. It cannot, however, be asked to serve two masters. Note: This expression is used in the Bible. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: `No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.' (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)
See also: master, serve, two

serve two masters

take orders from two superiors or follow two conflicting or opposing principles or policies at the same time.
This phrase alludes to the warning given in the Bible against trying to serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).
See also: master, serve, two

serve two ˈmasters

(usually used in negative sentences) support two opposing parties, principles, etc. at the same time: Government ministers are not allowed to work for private companies as nobody can serve two masters at once.This expression comes from the Bible.
See also: master, serve, two
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently serving as Adjutant and Treasurer of Chapter 1, Buffalo, N.
Fastabend is currently serving as director, concept development and experimentation, futures center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.
The same principles apply to serving diverse disability populations as apply to serving people who have other occupational disadvantages.
In bold are typical serving sizes of selected restaurant foods, according to our studies and company information.
Smith has been active in the Iowa State MTA, serving in several capacities, including president, secretary and Foundation chair.
While Schultz has been serving his community he also has served the profession including stints as CalCPA president and Accounting Education Committee Chair, and as an 11-year member of the Government Relations Committee.
Ed Galian, lost a leg to a land mine while serving in the Army during the 1944 liberation of Holland, but that didn't stop him from providing decades of service to America's disabled veterans and their families.
She is active in the Florida Public Relations Association, serving as 2000-2001 Jacksonville chapter president.
The serving team must be defensive on a second serve.
Just before serving, stir the garnish into the gazpacho.
In 1930 Joe Kruger began serving the camp community through his involvement in ACA.
One of the dramatic changes in the rehabilitation services field over the last decade has been the emergence, rapid growth, and increasing importance of private sector for-profit (or "proprietary") rehabilitation providers serving people with disabilities and often financed by insurance firms and self-insured employers.
Prior to serving as Secretary of Labor, she represented the 16th District of Illinois in the U.
NOTE: Bread slices can be prepared 2 days ahead of serving and stored in an airtight container.
She was chapter president in 1995 and senior delegate in 1996, serving as a liaison to IABC U.