Definition of service in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action of helping or doing work for someone:

    ‘millions are involved in voluntary service’
    • ‘He is also a member of York Rotary Club, where he is a strong supporter of voluntary service to the community of York.’
    • ‘The Father Cullen Medal was presented to Patsy Toolan for recognition of long term service to the centre.’
    • ‘Whatever the level of voluntary service, we want to hear from you.’
    • ‘With more than six decades of voluntary service to her credit, she has not yet called it a day.’
    • ‘For voluntary service to the community there was no better family and Nick was a leader in that field.’
    • ‘When it comes to voluntary service, he never hesitated to lead from the forefront.’
    • ‘He said she had given many years of outstanding service to Castlebar Social Services.’
    • ‘Danny DeVito presented the Cecil B DeMille Award to Michael Douglas for his years of service to the industry.’
    • ‘It is usually difficult for a institution to run totally on voluntary service, without any funding.’
    • ‘Both Michael and Patrick were well liked and highly valued employees who gave loyal service to the company.’
    • ‘After this he undertook voluntary military service in the fortress artillery.’
    act of assistance, good turn, favour, kindness, helping hand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun] An act of assistance:
      ‘he has done us a great service’
      ‘he volunteered his services as a driver’
      • ‘In the future he may well take time out again to volunteer his services in other countries.’
      • ‘It is hoped that more people will come forward and volunteer their services to help run this great amenity.’
      • ‘Fans unable to get tickets may be able to watch the game after all by volunteering their services as a steward.’
      • ‘Mr Wallace volunteered his services to the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall on Friday afternoon.’
      • ‘Proud mums made the decorative costumes and one even volunteered her services as a pianist.’
      • ‘Maybe he will volunteer his services for such a worthy enterprise.’
      • ‘Sedge volunteered his services and I want to say how grateful I am for his endeavours.’
      • ‘The service would like to thank all the volunteers for their services as collectors.’
      • ‘I would volunteer my services in some small way, for example shopping for her or just having a chat.’
      • ‘He can volunteer his services for road safety campaigns in schools and colleges.’
      • ‘Member Services Officer Shawn Hunsdale volunteered his services to assist the ACHSA.’
      • ‘Many local opticians and dentists volunteered their services to help the children.’
      • ‘My old mate and her younger sister volunteered their services for the operation.’
      • ‘Peg Hayden, who offered her services selling raffle tickets, assisted these ladies’
      • ‘I also feel that some who might volunteer their services could easily be put off by reading the daily Court File.’
      • ‘The local Foróige Youth Club is looking for adults to volunteer their services once a week to help in the operation of the club.’
      • ‘He also urged them to continue volunteering their services as it would help them gain necessary skills.’
      • ‘Instead, they donate some staff time and services to assist in its operation.’
      • ‘He even moved out of his rented room to the dormitory, offering his services as a volunteer.’
      • ‘CDF Gen Peter Cosgrove has encouraged members to volunteer their services with the appeal.’
      act of assistance, good turn, favour, kindness, helping hand
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods:
      ‘they aim to provide better quality of service’
      • ‘If we are to effectively eliminate this whole sector of retail sale and service, we must be prepared to fill up the vacuum.’
      • ‘I also suspect that the quality of service would have improved as the company got to know me better.’
      • ‘A key factor in these contract wins has been the assurance of a local and experienced post sales support service.’
      • ‘This will allow it to continue to sink all its money into sales and service.’
      • ‘It will outsource customer service and claims handling and will use the internet to market itself.’
      • ‘Sherriff's main aims, he said, are to increase shareholder value and customer service.’
      • ‘Edel aims to provide experienced advice and professional service to all her customers.’
      • ‘This has allowed its branch network to focus on customer service and sales.’
      • ‘The third step is to ensure that after sales service is in keeping with your promise.’
      • ‘The most common jobs posted at his site are those in customer service, marketing and sales.’
      • ‘He is determined to retain the major water customers by improving service and offering advice on water and waste management.’
      • ‘Part of customer service is the great feeling that you get when you see that you've made a difference.’
      • ‘After all, he didn't have to spend five and a half hours doing customer service.’
      • ‘Do you ever wonder what's going on while you're waiting on hold for customer service?’
      • ‘There's no doubt that strong customer service is integral to a healthy business.’
      • ‘The firm lives and dies by customer service, easy accessibility, and global reach.’
      • ‘Maybe the customers will accept the water hike if they also see continuous effort to improve service.’
      • ‘Product design and quality has fallen behind and customer service has fallen behind competitors.’
      • ‘This allows for better customer service, fewer income errors, and improved collection times.’
      • ‘It also enables Tusker's customer support team to deliver the highest level of service and advice.’
    3. 1.3 The action of serving food and drinks to customers:
      ‘they complained of poor bar service’
      • ‘Like us they were enjoying the elegant surroundings, attentive service and delicious food.’
      • ‘There is very little to find fault at Sokrates - it has fine food, good service and atmosphere.’
      • ‘You'd think that the lack of customers would mean speedy service at the bar.’
      • ‘The fact the he is a regular customer speaks volumes for the quality of the food and friendly service.’
      • ‘Of course, it could try distinguishing itself with amazing food, service and ambience.’
      • ‘The friendly service, the superb food and the stunning location all add up to money well spent.’
      • ‘With excellent service and first class food, I shall certainly be returning.’
      • ‘I noted the name, booked a table and was surprised to find lukewarm food and chilly service.’
      • ‘The service and food were good as always, but this room is not accessible to elderly and handicapped people.’
      • ‘You'll return to the establishment again and again because the food and service was so good.’
      • ‘We had to teach them everything from service to food to cleaning, even personal hygiene.’
      • ‘It was a shame to be there on an off night, but the upside was quick and friendly service from the bar staff.’
      • ‘Our chances of getting the best food and the best service were good.’
      • ‘A great dining experience depends on good food and service, but being a good guest also can enhance it.’
      • ‘The level of service, food and comfort makes it money well spent.’
      • ‘All in all, Delight is a restaurant with a nice atmosphere, decent service and good food.’
      • ‘Recently redecorated, it has spectacular bathrooms, stylish food and impeccable service.’
      • ‘But he did not expect to be refused service by bar staff when he arrived at the pub with some friends near closing time, he said.’
      • ‘Good food, good service and good prices were popular reasons for visiting this popular Italian restaurant.’
      • ‘The restaurant at the top was surprisingly large, and the food and service were excellent.’
      waiting, waitressing, waiting at table, serving of food and drink, attendance, serving
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4
      ‘service is included in the final bill’
      short for service charge
      • ‘Average prices are for a three-course meal for one, without wine, but including service and cover charge.’
    5. 1.5 A period of employment with a company or organization:
      ‘he retired after 40 years' service’
      • ‘She has a valid point - the award has been given to others whose service is shorter than hers.’
      • ‘They see the fees as payment for service, even if they agree that activism is required.’
      • ‘This relief benefits employees who have high earnings and long periods of service.’
      • ‘The pay criteria included factors such as mobility, training, and length of service of employees.’
      • ‘Relocation expenses, guaranteed by law after a minimum period of service, are the answer.’
      • ‘The period of their service was reduced, and some were repatriated before their contracts had expired.’
      • ‘This protection applies regardless of the employee's length of service.’
      • ‘The period of service must, however, be lawful employment.’
      • ‘A 1696 scheme for registering seamen for limited periods of service was abandoned in 1711.’
      • ‘The government planned to replace required military service with a voluntary army.’
      • ‘Pay records would show no service during this time period because he was not paid!’
      work, employment, employ, labour, performance of one's duties
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6 Employment as a servant:
      ‘the pitifully low wages gained from domestic service’
      • ‘Youths and young men predominated in some spheres of employment, such as domestic service in Natal and the Transvaal.’
      • ‘Together, maids and social reformers began to call for a restructuring of domestic service.’
      • ‘Migrant women often find employment in domestic service, which is growing in significance.’
      • ‘Those employed in domestic service will be able to claim the amount they earn as a tax deduction.’
      • ‘The genealogy of domestic service in India can be traced as far back as the Vedic times.’
      • ‘The majority of immigrants in domestic service here are Filipino women in their twenties.’
      • ‘Children in domestic service work long hours, isolated from friends and family.’
      • ‘They made little headway in the two main sectors of women's employment, domestic service and textiles.’
      • ‘The early part of her working career was spent locally in domestic service.’
      • ‘Women also work as farm laborers, but work in domestic service is more highly valued.’
      • ‘Similarly, women in domestic service as housekeepers or parlour maids had to make a choice between work and marriage.’
      • ‘These articles gave evidence of the changes occurring in domestic service in the early twentieth century.’
      • ‘Women could also get work in the fields and on farms, but some preferred domestic service.’
      • ‘A religious fanatic, of Devon farming stock, Joanna was in domestic service in Exeter.’
      • ‘She had once worked in domestic service for the future Edward VIII, who was then Prince of Wales.’
      • ‘In fact, they disappear into prostitution, street markets or domestic service.’
    7. 1.7 The use which can be made of a machine:
      ‘the computer should provide good service for years’
      use, usage
      View synonyms
  • 2A system supplying a public need such as transport, communications, or utilities such as electricity and water:

    ‘a regular bus service’
    • ‘An efficient, reliable postal service is essential to the smooth running of the nation's affairs.’
    • ‘I believe a two-tier medical service is needed, similar to the rest of Europe.’
    • ‘By March, 1976, the mothers had organised a school bus service to serve the new school.’
    • ‘The money raised will be used towards the costs of the centre's support service.’
    • ‘We have the full backing of the education welfare service and are working together to address the problem.’
    • ‘All that will be required of them is to pay for services like water, electricity and refuse removal.’
    • ‘The board currently provides a dispute resolution service on a voluntary basis.’
    • ‘I am sure these new services will also assist in tackling the current traffic situation in and around the town centre.’
    • ‘The money they raise will help us fund further services, assisting more local people living with cancer.’
    • ‘More victims of sex attacks in Swindon will be able to seek help from a support service when it expands later this year.’
    • ‘Student support services are essential to help enhance the success of prospective teachers.’
    • ‘They also offer a shopping service to assist home care clients unable to do their own shopping.’
    • ‘Making money, however, is not what the supervised child contact service is all about.’
    • ‘The burglars usually pose as workers for utility services, such as water, gas or electricity and target elderly householders.’
    • ‘Essential public services, like water supply, have no place in trade agreement agenda of the WTO.’
    • ‘The country is still a mess, with deteriorating services like water and electricity.’
    • ‘Caidee has not yet returned to school and the issue has been referred to the education welfare service.’
    • ‘However, no one seems to notice, or even to care, that this service is no longer available.’
    • ‘This single piece of legislation will deprive many local communities of an adequate postal service.’
    • ‘There is also a day care service where patients are brought in and get excellent treatment.’
    amenity, facility, resource, utility, solution
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    1. 2.1 A public department or organization run by the state:
      ‘the probation service’
      • ‘The intelligence departments of both services ran Special Service Organizations.’
      • ‘This meant visiting the probation service, in Victoria Avenue, Southend.’
      • ‘The report from the probation service said that Bates had done the 25 hours in good time and without any trouble.’
      • ‘He said services within the department were operating normally.’
      • ‘Tony Hargreaves, presiding, congratulated Simms on a glowing report by the probation service.’
      • ‘He had missed the November appointment because of a family bereavement and had asked his mother to contact the probation service.’
      • ‘It was nice to see Margaret Hodge speaking out in favour of public services last week.’
      • ‘Third, land values are in part due to the presence of good government and valuable public services.’
      • ‘One of the great losses under this Government is an effective employment service.’
      • ‘The probation service aims to reduce offending and protect the public.’
      • ‘They are exhibited in a statement and were formulated by the prison service rather than the Department of Health.’
      • ‘At this point there is no effort to co-ordinate services across Government Departments.’
      • ‘The pension service and the fiscal department considered her as dead for a rather long period.’
      • ‘The move follows similar recruitment drives by MI5, the domestic intelligence service.’
      • ‘The case was adjourned until August 29 for pre-sentence reports to be prepared by the probation service.’
      • ‘If the probation service is unsuccessful, O'Connell will become homeless.’
      • ‘David Fraser, who worked for the probation service, has written a book, A Land Fit for Criminals.’
      • ‘It would also mean moving the probation service from its present offices, in Union Lane, to the new centre.’
      • ‘He also ordered the probation service to supervise her for a year.’
      • ‘A guarantee has been given that there will be no job losses if plans to merge key public services into one giant organisation goes ahead.’
    2. 2.2the services The armed forces:
      ‘service personnel’
      • ‘It shall also allocate the numerical strength of the Reserves to the services and combat arms.’
      • ‘It has had an effect on me, as a person who has served in the services.’
      • ‘For those interested in other career fields, the services are hiring as well.’
      • ‘The men in uniform, the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, are veterans of the services.’
      • ‘His appointment signaled a renaissance of the warrior ethic throughout the services.’
      • ‘Are the services anticipating the changing nature of future conflict in their wargaming?’
      • ‘The lessons that all the services are learning will help provide us with what we need to prepare for the future.’
      • ‘He met his wife, who has also served in the Territorial Army and Auxiliary Air Force, through the services.’
      armed forces, armed services, forces, military
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3servicesBritish An area with parking beside a major road supplying petrol, refreshments, and other amenities to motorists.
      • ‘The local roads, services, amenities, houses and schools are not large enough.’
      • ‘He was parked in the services at Rainton, near Ripon, when he was approached by a man who forced him to drive northbound up the A1.’
      • ‘All the services, the roads, the car parks for the new passenger terminal and the cargo building will be completed in July.’
  • 3A ceremony of religious worship according to a prescribed form:

    [as modifier] ‘a funeral service’
    • ‘A short service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day was held in Skipton and Settle.’
    • ‘Carolyn and bridegroom Richard Coombs were told their reception could not go ahead after the church marriage service.’
    • ‘They had a short service in the town's Civic Hall before marching back through the park.’
    • ‘They can also get access to a further 22 spaces in a nearby overflow car park during bigger services.’
    • ‘His wife was trapped in the house and the intruders threatened to kill her if the worship service continued.’
    • ‘It is important to understand what pastors and religious leaders do in services of healing.’
    • ‘In response, the unions called off the mass memorial service that was originally scheduled last year.’
    • ‘Here his followers would gather in the mornings and afternoons for religious services.’
    • ‘One tends to find greater respect for the liturgical nature of our common worship in Anglican services.’
    • ‘He himself attended worship services at the first Protestant church in Mexico City, established not long after he took power.’
    • ‘The Archbishop led a short service, followed by a prayer of blessing and dedication for the new meeting facilities.’
    • ‘Therefore, his religious services in the morning and evening used to be a major event each day.’
    • ‘One of the team's goals is to pray during worship services for the church's leaders and ministry.’
    • ‘Its worship services have hitherto been held in the garage of the pastor's home.’
    • ‘In Iraq, British soldiers celebrated Easter in a series of regimental services at military bases in the country.’
    • ‘Worship services held in Amish homes reaffirm the moral order of Amish life.’
    • ‘A short prayer service will be held immediately afterwards in the church.’
    • ‘Each donor received a copy of the page and memorial card, and was invited to the short remembrance service at the Dumers Lane hospice.’
    • ‘The service included hymns specially chosen by Ian's family, and prayers led by his father, Roy.’
    • ‘I point out that the wedding is a service of worship in which God is the focus and our goal is to please Him.’
    ceremony, ritual, rite, observance, ordinance
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  • 4A periodic routine inspection and maintenance of a vehicle or other machine:

    ‘he took his car in for a service’
    • ‘By some good fortune we made it to Vals on time, then proceeded to our hotel where we had a bite to eat and then gave the car a service with Jim and the gang.’
    • ‘It had failed to refill the gearbox with oil during the pre-delivery service of the car.’
    • ‘I had to take my car in for a service after squash and had meant to check under the seats in case it had slipped out of my pocket, but forgot.’
    overhaul, servicing, maintenance check, routine check, check
    View synonyms
  • 5[with modifier] A set of matching crockery used for serving a particular meal:

    ‘a dinner service’
  • 6[mass noun] (in tennis and other racket sports) the action or right of serving to begin play.

    • ‘We are on the balls of our feet, like tennis players awaiting service, anxiously twiddling our sticks.’
    1. 6.1[count noun] A serve.
      • ‘Jenkins served the first four services of the third game, picking up one ace in the process of doing so.’
  • 7Law
    [mass noun] The formal delivery of a document such as a writ or summons.

    • ‘The claimants issued their writ and effected service in accordance with their undertakings.’
    • ‘All steps required for service of the document shall be effected as soon as possible.’
    • ‘Personal service of a summons to witness upon Perry was the correct way to compel his attendance to be examined.’
    • ‘There is an email address which has been used to communicate with him as well as the formal service of his last known address.’
    • ‘There was nothing to prevent personal service on the Defendants at Wentworth Drive, the address given on the Claim Form.’


  • 1Perform routine maintenance or repair work on (a vehicle or machine):

    ‘ensure that gas appliances are serviced regularly’
    • ‘Hugin was held by the Commission to be in breach of Article 86 by refusing to supply spare parts for its cash registers to Liptons, which competed with Hugin in servicing Hugin's machines.’
    • ‘Be sure that there is a program in place to review and service vehicles prior to each use.’
    • ‘The aircraft were serviced, checked over carefully and winterized before being ferried north.’
    • ‘Make sure gas appliances are serviced regularly.’
    • ‘The electrical and plumbing systems were checked, a new gas boiler was installed, the lifts were serviced and repaired, and the fire safety equipment was also checked and repaired or replaced.’
    • ‘While in the Senior Service Mr Allingham serviced aircraft and acted as a spotter for submarines and mines during the Battle of Jutland.’
    • ‘The ability to service his machines properly and promptly is also important to Roaden.’
    • ‘For one week he worked for a tailor, then was employed as a kitchen hand, later drove a truck, serviced machinery and sold construction equipment.’
    • ‘He was reimbursed only a small amount on account of his disbursements for the use of his car in servicing the machines.’
    • ‘I am amazed at the number of farmers who have not serviced their tractor in 2003.’
    • ‘When he first set up in business he serviced washing machines and vacuum cleaners, but soon moved over to specialising in selling light fittings and lamp shades.’
    • ‘You may get a locally trained technician to service the machines and robotics.’
    • ‘We had the rear brake serviced by Magura during a tech seminar, and it performed excellently.’
    • ‘Ensure that your car is regularly serviced and check your tyre pressures regularly.’
    • ‘You will need to have the car taken to the garage that services your fleet vehicle.’
    • ‘Kruger urged motorists to use their cars sensibly, have their vehicles serviced regularly and form lift clubs where possible.’
    • ‘He had his motorcycle serviced by the respondent.’
    • ‘Chris has done all the outside maintenance and ground care and even taught himself how to service tractors in order to save costs!’
    • ‘Abrey advised people not to wait for the summer to service their machines but rather to do them in winter.’
    • ‘Flanik's father, who serviced vending machines as a side occupation, was shot to death during a robbery when Flanik was 14.’
    overhaul, check, check over, go over, give a maintenance check to, maintain, keep in good condition
    repair, mend, recondition
    overhaul, servicing, maintenance check, routine check, check
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Supply and maintain systems for public utilities and transport and communications in (an area):
      ‘the village is small and well serviced’
      • ‘The majority of these houses are far too scattered to be serviced by public transport, she added.’
      • ‘There are a number of bus routes servicing the area, including a feeder bus service direct from Blackrock Dart station.’
      • ‘The area is well serviced by a number of bus routes.’
      • ‘Rural areas are serviced by a thinly spread system of aid posts and small health centers.’
      • ‘Local areas are well serviced by trains and buses.’
      • ‘Each of these areas is well serviced by tram, bus and underground metro line.’
      • ‘The department has never depended on Wasa for water in the areas serviced by the salt water main system.’
      • ‘The air carried only the faintest whiff of sewage, as this section serviced a wealthy area of the city and was consequently well maintained.’
      • ‘Most roads and bridges servicing plantations were washed out.’
      • ‘It complements other public services, such as the transport system that services it.’
      • ‘It should be located in areas well serviced by public transportation and provide a variety of services close by.’
      • ‘Other cities only allow new development in areas already serviced by mass transit.’
      • ‘The areas serviced by the transport initiative include Scartaglen, Firies, Brosna, Kilflynn, Ballylongford and Knockanure.’
      • ‘The pipeline will service rural areas en route and will enable new group water schemes to go ahead.’
      • ‘They only agreed to start servicing the area after numerous calls from the residents there, Singh said.’
      • ‘The estate is serviced by well constructed roads, and one can see electricity lines running through the site.’
      • ‘The last step is to ascertain the actual cost of construction of the Northway in the area being serviced.’
      • ‘Obviously some time was spent on marketing efforts to find new sites, to set up new sites and to service old sites.’
      • ‘Local shops servicing a small area reduce the need to travel.’
      • ‘Previously Lawley and Orange Farm were serviced by the fire station in Eldorado Park, some eight kilometres away’
    2. 1.2 Perform a service or services for (someone):
      ‘her life is devoted to servicing others’
      • ‘We have 84,000 people who will be serviced by that organisation.’
    3. 1.3 Pay interest on (a debt):
      ‘taxpayers are paying $250 million just to service that debt’
      • ‘Negative numbers can mean the company is servicing debt but can also mean the company is making dividend payments and stock repurchases, which investors might be glad to see.’
      • ‘Therefore, countries had to increase production of commodities in order to service their debts.’
      • ‘Instead, the national debt is simply serviced with the amount of interest paid in any year being a function of the size of the debt and the interest rates on the appropriate debt instruments.’
      • ‘Deutsche Bank expresses concern at the association's ability to service the escalating debt.’
      • ‘Remember it is pointless keeping too much surplus money in a savings account if you are also servicing debt at a higher rate of interest.’
  • 2(of a male animal) mate with (a female animal):

    ‘one dog could presumably service several bitches in a day’
    • ‘The queen bee is serviced by her male drones, and then she kills them off one by one.’
    • ‘The farmer then gauges the progress by the number of ewes with coloured hindquarters, indicating which of his flock have been serviced.’
    • ‘It is then that Jane reads about how bulls never service the same cow twice.’
    • ‘It has been known for one male to service 40 females, but it all depends on his size and strength.’
    • ‘Almost all the world's big owners, including the Queen and the Aga Khan, send their horses to be serviced at Coolmore.’
    1. 2.1vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse with or give sexual gratification to (someone).


  • be at someone's service

    • Be ready to assist someone whenever possible:

      ‘I'm at your service, day or night’
      • ‘As soon as dinner is done, I will be at your service.’
      • ‘Well, Ann, I've been at his service for 40 years, and we've never been apart.’
      • ‘The members of her group were supposed to be at her service and not the other way around.’
      • ‘I continued to meet Mrs. Kennedy's conditions by being at her service at seven o'clock every morning, going to school every day, completing my chores in the afternoon, and never being caught doing anything illegal.’
      • ‘He had me stay at the house to be at Sammy 's service for the three weeks he was there, cooking whatever he dreamed of.’
      • ‘Our staff is at your service for any further information you may require.’
      • ‘Let me register and sign, and whenever you want I'll be at your service.’
  • be of service

    • Be available to assist someone:

      ‘if you need books, we'd like to be of service’
      • ‘‘I believe I can be of service to you here,’ she said.’
      • ‘‘My goal is to actually be of service, not just to hold onto my position,’ she said.’
      • ‘Of course, if you're unsure about what you're viewing, Moodie and the rest of the gallery staff are often more than happy to be of service.’
      • ‘Her year there was an adventure that finally brought together her nursing and desire to be of service in the missionary field.’
      • ‘I was glad to be of service in the Oklahoma Bug Relocation Program.’
      • ‘I believe I can't really be of service to anyone else unless I've got my own ducks in a row.’
      • ‘Yet he is happy where he is, being of service and working with others.’
      • ‘We hope to be of service to Catholics, busy parents in particular, who are concerned about what their children may be watching.’
      • ‘This allows service providers to be of service.’
      • ‘‘I'm glad to be of service,’ Skerry says sarcastically.’
      help, assist, benefit, be helpful, be of assistance, be beneficial, be advantageous, be of benefit, serve, advantage, be useful, be of use, be profitable, profit, be valuable, be of worth, do someone a good turn
      View synonyms
  • in service

    • 1In or available for use:

      ‘the plane is the most advanced fighter in service today’
      • ‘It is not expected to be in service until late spring.’
      • ‘It is not uncommon to have guns produced for America's previous wars in service today.’
      • ‘She said they had hoped to have had the new ambulance in service before now but the conversion had taken longer than had been expected.’
      • ‘One lift was taken out of service for replacement; the other was left in service.’
      • ‘The Heritage Lottery Fund is to put the cash towards the cost of getting the Vulcan bomber back in service for air shows.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, after 27 years, there will be no supersonic planes in service for commercial airlines after tonight.’
      • ‘Six of the ships have been delivered and are in service in Asia-European services.’
      • ‘But it should be remembered that for the first two and a half years of the war they were far in advance of anything in service in any other nation.’
      • ‘The LCH class now has the distinction of being in commission longer than any other ship still in service.’
      • ‘Firstly, buses in service obviously need extra journey time.’
    • 2Employed as a servant:

      ‘poor children worked in service’
  • out of service

    • Not available for use.

      • ‘Normally I wouldn't have bothered mentioning this, because I would have assumed that the server was out of service temporarily.’
      • ‘Aurora will be repaired at either a UK or German shipyard and will be out of service for about five weeks.’
      • ‘However, the refit, which has kept the historic craft out of service since last December, was much more than just a paint job.’
      • ‘His route planned, Hamilton arrived at his preferred stop to find the elevator out of service.’
      • ‘The elevator's out of service, so we have to walk up seven flights to visit the heart doctor.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman for the Royal Bank of Scotland said the Nessgate cash machine was currently out of service because of vandalism.’
      • ‘Even so, it's a shame to see such a beautiful aircraft go out of service with no prospect that we'll ever see anything quite like it in my lifetime.’
      • ‘ScottishPower's generation unit at Hunter in Utah is out of service for four to six months while repairs are completed.’
      • ‘The Surrey is currently out of service for annual maintenance.’
      • ‘The ferry was able to continue its journey and return to Kirkwall on one engine, but will be out of service for several weeks, said Mr Henderson.’
      out of order, not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, inoperative, in disrepair
      conked out, bust, gone phut, on the blink, gone haywire, shot
      knackered, jiggered, wonky
      on the fritz, out of whack
      View synonyms
  • see service

    • 1Serve in the armed forces:

      ‘he saw service in both world wars’
      • ‘He joined the Russian Imperial Fleet and saw service during the Russo-Japanese War in Port Arthur - a port that was to fall to the Japanese.’
      • ‘By 1865, desperation forced the Confederate Congress to authorize black combat troops, although the war ended before any saw service.’
      • ‘He joined the Marines as a teenager, and saw service in the wars of 1776-83.’
      • ‘He served as a platoon commander with the British Army for 10 years, and saw service in Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘Charles was educated as a soldier and saw service in the Swedish army from 1642 to 1645 during the Thirty Years War.’
      • ‘Later he served in the army and saw service in Germany.’
      • ‘A Cambridge graduate and former lieutenant colonel in the Royal Tank Regiment, Crawford, 49, saw service in the 1991 Gulf war.’
      • ‘The first two squadrons to see service were 302 and the famous 303 squadron, the latter based at Northolt just outside London.’
      • ‘He joined the Welsh Guards at 18 and, before sailing with the Falklands Task Force, saw service in Berlin, Northern Ireland and Kenya.’
      • ‘During the second world war, he saw service in the East African campaign and later in the desert.’
      1. 1.1Be used:
        ‘the building later saw service as a blacksmith's shop’
        • ‘At first the Gannet was used in submarine detection but in the mid-1960s the advanced early warning version was developed, and saw service until 1977.’
        • ‘The ten-ton Saracen, fitted with a Browning turret-mounted machine gun and a BREN anti-aircraft gun, first saw service in Malaya and was a common sight in Northern Ireland.’
        • ‘The Lux range first saw service at the Open championship in Kent earlier this year where they were tested out by the millionaires of world golf, who pronounced themselves satisfied.’
        • ‘The helicopter last saw service in Antarctica and is equipped with a full de-icing rig and a power winch.’
        • ‘The magnificent steam engine last saw service in 1976 at the Mardy Colliery, on the outskirts of the town it was named after in the Rhondda Valley.’


Old English (denoting religious devotion or a form of liturgy), from Old French servise or Latin servitium slavery, from servus slave. The early sense of the verb (mid 19th century) was ‘be of service to, provide with a service’.