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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. You tripped while making fun of those kids? Serves you right!
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. Don't you find it rather unseemly for a man of his age and station to set his cap for a girl who's barely of voting age?
See also: right, serve

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 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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
That puts two, not three, servings of veggies in a 12 oz.
Eat three 1-cup servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy or calcium-fortified soymilk
Select your string and serving materials from the choices listed above.
Community Servings is dedicated to providing free home-delivered meals throughout eastern Massachusetts to people homebound with acute life-threatening illnesses, who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.
So even if you have "several servings" of Barilla Plus each week, it may not protect your heart as much as a serving of salmon.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines stated that consuming at least three servings of whole grains per day can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases and may help with weight maintenance.
And bigger servings mean bigger calorie, fat, saturated fat, and sodium numbers.
The Green Giant Vegetable Report, based on a Harris Interactive survey of parents with children 18 and under, also found that parents were confused about what made up a serving size and how many servings young children need daily.
According to a recent study sponsored by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education group, only 12 percent of those surveyed reported that they regularly ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
According to a newly published USDA database, purple grape juice made from Concord grapes tested higher in total proanthocyanidins--natural plant compounds that function as antioxidants and may contribute to good health in a variety of ways -- than any of the juices or beverages it tested on a per serving basis, including red wine, tea, cranberry juice cocktail and apple juice.
Because it means that a two-ounce serving contains about three grams of fat.
With the new Savory Servings Fajita Seasoned Chicken Thigh Fillets, Foster Farms offers consumers another quick and easy, gourmet-quality meal to add to their dinner routine that is tasty, convenient and healthy.
If you're not eating the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily (and the majority of Americans are not), pull out the blender and whip up some cool, irresistible smoothies or other delicious juice drinks in a jiffy.
It's no wonder the National Cancer Institute (NCI) now advises everyone to eat at least five to nine servings a day.
If you usually eat one cup of vegetables at a time, count it as two servings.