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serv·ice / ˈsərvis/ • n. 1. the action of helping or doing work for someone: millions are involved in voluntary service. ∎  an act of assistance: he has done us a great service he volunteered his services as a driver. ∎  assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods: they aim to provide better quality of service. ∎  short for service industry: a private security service. ∎  work done for a customer other than manufacturing: scheduled commercial airline service | highly customized goods and services. ∎  the action or process of serving food and drinks to customers: they complained of poor bar service. ∎  short for service charge: service is included in the final bill. ∎  a period of employment with a company or organization: he retired after 40 years' service. ∎  employment as a servant: the pitifully low wages gained from domestic service. See also in service below. ∎  the use that can be made of a machine: the computer should provide good service for years. ∎  the provision of the necessary maintenance work for a machine: they phoned for service on their air conditioning. ∎  a periodic routine inspection and maintenance of a vehicle or other machine: he took his car in for service. ∎  (the services) the armed forces: troops from all branches of the services | [as adj.] (service) service personnel. 2. a system supplying a public need such as transport, communications, or utilities such as electricity and water: a regular bus service. ∎  a public department or organization run by the government: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 3. a ceremony of religious worship according to a prescribed form; the prescribed form for such a ceremony: a funeral service. 4. a set of matching dishes and utensils used for serving a particular meal: a dinner service. 5. (in tennis and other racket sports) the action or right of serving to begin play. ∎  a serve. 6. Law the formal delivery of a document such as a writ or summons. • v. [tr.] 1. (usu. be serviced) perform routine maintenance or repair work on (a vehicle or machine): have your car serviced regularly. ∎  supply and maintain systems for public utilities and transportation and communications in (an area): the town is small but well serviced. ∎  perform a service or services for (someone): the state's biggest health maintenance organization servicing the poor. ∎  pay interest on (a debt): taxpayers are paying $250 million just to service that debt. 2. (of a male animal) mate with (a female animal). ∎ vulgar slang (of a man) have sexual intercourse with (a woman). PHRASES: be at someone's service be ready to assist someone whenever possible. be of service be available to assist someone. in service 1. in or available for use. 2. dated employed as a servant. out of service not available for use. see service serve in the armed forces: he saw service in both world wars. ∎  be used: the building later saw service as a blacksmith's shop.

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Any duty or labor performed for another person.

The delivery of a legal document that notifies the recipient of the commencement of a legal action or proceeding in which he or she is involved.

The term service has various meanings, depending upon the context of the word.

Under feudal law, tenants had a duty to render service to their lords in exchange for use of the land. The service required could take many forms: monetary payments, farm products, loyalty, attendance upon the lord as an armed horseman, carrying the king's banner, providing a sword or a lance, or plowing or other farm labor done for the king.

In contract law, service refers to an act or deed, rather than property. It is a duty or labor done by a laborer under the direction and control of the one for whom the service is performed. The term implies that the recipient of the service selects and compensates the laborer. It is the occupation, condition, or status of being a servant and often describes every kind of employment relationship. In addition, service may be used to denote employment for the government, as in the terms civil service, military service or the armed service, or public service.

In the area of domestic relations, the term refers to the uncompensated work, guidance, and upkeep an injured or deceased family member previously provided for the family; the injury or death of the provider of these services means that the work will have to be obtained from another source and at a price. In this context the term traditionally was restricted to the "services" of a wife under the theory that the husband's duty was to provide support and the wife's duty was to provide service. After injury to his wife, a husband could bring an action on his own behalf against the responsible party for compensation of the loss of her aid, assistance, comfort, and society. The modern view holds that a wife may also sue for the loss of assistance and society of her husband.

Service also means the delivery of a writ, summons and complaint, criminal summons, or other notice or order by an authorized server upon another. Proper service thereby provides official notification that a legal action or proceeding against an individual has been commenced.


Feudalism; Service of Process.

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serviceAttis, gratis, lattice •malpractice, practice, practise •Atlantis, mantis •pastis •Lettice, lettuce, Thetis •apprentice, compos mentis, in loco parentis, prentice •Alcestis, testis •poetess • armistice •appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, cellulitis, colitis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, dermatitis, encephalitis, gastroenteritis, gingivitis, hepatitis, laryngitis, lymphangitis, meningitis, nephritis, neuritis, osteoarthritis, pericarditis, peritonitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis •epiglottis, glottis •solstice •mortise, rigor mortis •countess • viscountess •myosotis, notice, Otis •poultice • justice • giantess • clematis •Curtis • interstice • Tethys •Glenrothes • Travis •Jarvis, parvis •clevis, crevice, Nevis •Elvis, pelvis •Avis, Davies, mavis •Leavis • Divis • novice • Clovis •Jervis, service •marquess, marquis

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Service. In mus. sense, elaborate and continuous setting of the canticles from the Anglican prayer-book for morning and evening services, or Communion service. The terms Short Service and Great Service were used in 16th and early 17th cents. to distinguish between normal daily service and that for an elaborate special occasion. Tye, Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins, Weelkes, etc. all comp. fine services. Later examples are by Walmisley, S. S. Wesley, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Howells, etc.

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service2 tree of the genus Sorbus XVI (sarves, servyse). orig. pl. of †serve, OE. syrfe :- Gmc. *surbjōn — popL. *sorbea, f. L. sorbus service tree.

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the settings for a table; sets of dishes, etc.

Examples : service of china, 1788; of gilt plate, 1669; of plate; of tableware.