Definition of service noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːvɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrvɪs//
    The car industry, The navy, Train and bus travel, How machines work
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    providing something
  1. 1  [countable] a system that provides something that the public needs, organized by the government or a private company the ambulance/bus/telephone, etc. service The government aims to improve public services, especially education. Essential services (= the supply of water, gas, electricity) will be maintained. see also emergency services, postal service See related entries: How machines work
  2. 2  (also Service) [countable] an organization or a company that provides something for the public or does something for the government the prison service the BBC World Service see also civil service, fire service, health service, Internal Revenue Service, National Health Service, secret service, Security Service, social services
  3. 3  [countable, uncountable] a business whose work involves doing something for customers but not producing goods; the work that such a business does financial services the development of new goods and services Smith's Catering Services (= a company) offers the best value. We guarantee (an) excellent service. the service sector (= the part of the economy involved in this type of business) a service industry
  4. in hotel/shop/restaurant
  5. 4  [uncountable] the serving of customers in hotels, restaurants, and shops/stores The food was good but the service was very slow. 10% will be added to your bill for service. Our main concern is to provide quality customer service. CollocationsRestaurantsEating out eat (lunch/​dinner)/dine/​meet at/​in a restaurant go (out)/take somebody (out) for lunch/​dinner/​a meal have a meal with somebody make/​have a reservation (in/​under the name of Yamada) reserve/ (especially British English) book a table for six ask for/​request a table for two/​a table by the windowIn the restaurant wait to be seated show somebody to their table sit in the corner/​by the window/​at the bar/​at the counter hand somebody/​give somebody the menu/​wine list open/​read/​study/​peruse the menu the restaurant has a three-course set menu/​a children’s menu/​an extensive wine list taste/​sample/​try the wine the waiter takes your order order/​choose/​have the soup of the day/​one of the specials/​the house (British English) speciality/(especially North American English) specialty serve/​finish the first course/​the starter/​the main course/​dessert/​coffee complain about the food/​the service/​your meal enjoy your mealPaying pay/​ask for (especially British English) the bill/(North American English) the check pay for/​treat somebody to dinner/​lunch/​the meal service is (not) included give somebody/​leave (somebody) a tip see also customer service, room service, self-service
  6. work for organization
  7. 5  [uncountable] service (to something) the work that somebody does for an organization, etc., especially when it continues for a long time or is admired very much She has just celebrated 25 years' service with the company. The employees have good conditions of service. After retiring, she became involved in voluntary service in the local community. see also jury service
  8. of vehicle/machine
  9. 6[uncountable] the use that you can get from a vehicle or machine; the state of being used That computer gave us very good service. The ship will be taken out of service within two years.
  10. 7[countable, uncountable] an examination of a vehicle or machine followed by any work that is necessary to keep it operating well a service engineer (British English) I had taken the car in for a service. (North American English) I had taken the car in for service. see also after-sales service See related entries: The car industry
  11. skills/help
  12. 8[usually plural] (formal) the particular skills or help that a person is able to offer service (of somebody) You need the services of a good lawyer. service (as somebody/something) He offered his services as a driver.
  13. army/navy/air force
  14. 9[countable, usually plural, uncountable] the army, the navy and the air force; the work done by people in them Most of the boys went straight into the services. He saw service in North Africa. a service family see also active service, military service, national service Culturethe armed forcesThe British armed forces, sometimes called the services, consist of the Army, the Royal Navy (RN), and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Queen is Commander-in-Chief of all three services, but responsibility for their management lies with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which is headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Army is the largest of the three services and the Royal Navy the smallest. The Navy is the service with the longest history and is sometimes known as the senior service. The regular forces are supported when necessary by the regular reserves, who are former members of the regular forces, and volunteer reserves, people who train in their free time with the Army Reserve, the Royal Air Force Reserves, or the Royal Navy Reserve. In 1998 the government's Strategic Defence Review set out a plan of modernization of the armed forces and established a Joint Rapid Reaction Force which includes all three services. In 2010, after a Strategic Defence and Security Review, cuts of nearly 8% in the number of members of the armed forces were announced by the government. In the US the President is Commander-in Chief of the armed forces and the Secretary of Defense is responsible for their management. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the military leaders of the four services, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, which are supported when necessary by the reserve forces, the US Army Reserve, the National Guard and the Navy Reserve. The Army is the service with the longest history. Four of its leaders became President: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. See related entries: The navy
  15. religious ceremony
  16. 10  [countable] a religious ceremony morning/evening service to hold/attend a service a funeral/marriage/memorial, etc. service CollocationsReligionBeing religious believe in God/​Christ/​Allah/​free will/​predestination/​heaven and hell/​an afterlife/​reincarnation be/​become a believer/​an atheist/​an agnostic/​a Christian/​Muslim/​Hindu/​Buddhist, etc. convert to/​practise/ (especially US English) practice a religion/​Buddhism/​Catholicism/​Christianity/​Islam/​Judaism, etc. go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/​mosque/​synagogue/​gurdwara belong to a church/​a religious community join/​enter the church/​a convent/​a monastery/​a religious sect/​the clergy/​the priesthood praise/​worship/​obey/​serve/​glorify GodCelebrations and ritual attend/​hold/​conduct/​lead a service perform a ceremony/​a rite/​a ritual/​a baptism/​the Hajj/​a mitzvah carry out/​perform a sacred/​burial/​funeral/​fertility/​purification rite go on/​make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/​Easter/​Eid/​Ramadan/​Hanukkah/​Passover/​Diwali observe/​break the Sabbath/​a fast/​Ramadan deliver/​preach/​hear a sermon lead/​address the congregation say/​recite a prayer/​blessingReligious texts and ideas preach/​proclaim/​spread the word of God/​the Gospel/​the message of Islam study/​follow the dharma/​the teachings of Buddha read/​study/​understand/​interpret scripture/​the Bible/​the Koran/​the gospel/​the Torah be based on/​derive from divine revelation commit/​consider something heresy/​sacrilegeReligious belief and experience seek/​find/​gain enlightenment/​wisdom strengthen/​lose your faith keep/​practise/​practice/​abandon the faith save/​purify/​lose your soul obey/​follow/​keep/​break/​violate a commandment/​Islamic law/​Jewish law be/​accept/​do God’s will receive/​experience divine grace achieve/​attain enlightenment/​salvation/​nirvana undergo a conversion/​rebirth/​reincarnation hear/​answer a prayer commit/​confess/​forgive a sin do/​perform penance
  17. bus/train
  18. 11[countable, usually singular] a bus, train, etc. that goes regularly to a particular place at a particular time the cancellation of the 10.15 service to Glasgow See related entries: Train and bus travel
  19. on motorway
  20. 12services [singular + singular or plural verb] (British English) a place beside a motorway where you can stop for petrol, a meal, the toilets, etc. motorway services It's five miles to the next services. see also service area, service station
  21. in tennis
  22. 13[countable] an act of hitting the ball in order to start playing; the way that you hit it synonym serve It's your service (= your turn to start playing). Her service has improved.
  23. set of plates, etc.
  24. 14[countable] a complete set of plates, dishes, etc. that match each other a tea service (= cups, saucers, a teapot and plates, for serving tea) see also dinner service
  25. being servant
  26. 15[uncountable] (old-fashioned) the state or position of being a servant to be in/go into service (= to be/become a servant)
  27. of official document
  28. 16[uncountable] (law) the formal giving of an official document, etc. to somebody the service of a demand for payment
  29. Word OriginOld English (denoting religious devotion or a form of public worship), from Old French servise or Latin servitium ‘slavery’, from servus ‘slave’. The early sense of the verb (mid 19th cent.) was ‘be of service to, provide with a service’.Extra examples All 18-year-old males are required to do a year’s military service. Bus companies are planning to lay on extra services. Essential services will be maintained. Essential services= the supply of water, gas, electricity will be maintained. Find out what services are available in your area. He died on active service. He saw service during the First World War. He was given an award for his services to the disabled. I complained about the poor service. I typed my password into my instant messaging service. If you would like a meal in your room, please call room service. Internet service providers May I be of service to you? Most of the boys went straight into the services. Our main concern is to provide quality customer service. She offered her services as a babysitter. She works for the social services The aircraft entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. The cabin staff are at your service throughout the flight. The company offers direct, fast and frequent services between large towns and cities. The company provides products and services to customers in 145 countries. The new system will enable people to access the service more easily. The ship has been taken out of service for extensive cleaning. The studio launches its own digital music download service next month. There is a limited service on these bus routes. They sold their services to a major airline. This bus is not in service. This government has systematically cut back public services since it took office. US Airways also added service recently to the Dominican Republic. We guarantee first-class service. We need the services of a good lawyer. We need to expand this valuable service to other cities. We offer a comprehensive service to home buyers. We offer excellent after-sales service on all our goods. We ordered room service. We will be operating a reduced service while engineering work takes place. You have done us a great service. a financial services company a job in domestic service a plastic surgeon advertising his services on the Internet a public-service announcement an online dating service available for jury service changes to scheduled services his military service record during the Vietnam War memorial service for people killed in the attack mental health services for young people paramedics who provide a vital service to the public payment for services rendered people who use the health-care service public-service broadcasting retail and food service workers retired military service members service to the community services from Bangkok to Chiang Mai specialized services for the deaf and hard of hearing to seek the services of an attorney wireless Internet services A free bus service to and from the venue is available. A massive operation was launched by the emergency services. A special service of praise and thanksgiving was held in the cathedral. A spokesman for the ambulance service defended the changes. He always attends morning service. I offered my services as a babysitter for the evening. I think you are going to need the services of a good lawyer. I’ve taken the car in for a service. She has just celebrated 25 years’ service with the company. She works for the prison service. Smith’s Catering Services offers the best value. The California-based computer services company announced their quarterly results yesterday. The company’s service engineers are highly qualified. The employees have good conditions of service. The government aims to improve public services, especially education. The news was reported on the BBC World Service last night. The postal service here is rather unreliable. The service industries were most affected by the recession. They are offering special incentives to the financial services sector. computer/​catering/​financial/​insurance/​marketing/​freight/​accommodation services the Diplomatic Service the Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Services the Foreign ServiceIdioms
    at the service of somebody/something, at somebody’s service
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    completely available for somebody to use or to help somebody Health care must be at the service of all who need it. (formal or humorous) If you need anything, I am at your service.
    be of service (to somebody)
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    (formal) to be useful or helpful Can I be of service to anyone?
    do somebody a/no service
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    (formal) to do something that is helpful/not helpful to somebody She was doing herself no service by remaining silent.
    press somebody/something into service
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    to use somebody/something for a purpose that they were not trained or intended for because there is nobody or nothing else available Every type of boat was pressed into service to rescue passengers from the sinking ferry.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: service