American English

Definition of service noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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 postal service
  2. 2Service [countable] an organization or a company that provides something for the public or does something for the government the U.S. Customs Service the BBC World Service see also civil service, dating service, Diplomatic Service, health service, Internal Revenue 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 excellent service. the service sector (= the part of the economy involved in this type of business) a service industry
  4. in hotel/store/restaurant
  5. 4[uncountable] the serving of customers in hotels, restaurants, and stores The food was good but the service was very slow. Our main concern is to provide quality customer service. collocations at Topic 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 Baker) reserve 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 specialty serve/finish the appetizers/the first course/the main course/dessert/coffee complain about the food/the service/your meal enjoy your mealpaying pay/ask for the check/the bill pay for/treat somebody to dinner/lunch/the meal a gratuity/a service charge is (not) included give somebody/leave (somebody) a tiproom service, self-service
  6. work for organization
  7. 5[uncountable] service (to something) the work that someone 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.
  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[uncountable] an examination of a vehicle or machine followed by any work that is necessary to keep it operating well I took the car in for service. a service engineer
  11. skills/help
  12. 8[usually plural] 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 singular, uncountable] the army, the navy, and the air force; the work done by people in them Most of the boys went straight into the service. He saw service in North Africa. a service family see also active service, military service
  15. religious ceremony
  16. 10[countable] a religious ceremony morning/evening service to hold/attend a service a funeral/marriage/memorial, etc. service Topic CollocationsReligionbeing religious believe in God/Christ/Allah/free will/predestination/heaven and hell/an afterlife/reincarnation be/become an agnostic/an atheist/a believer/a Buddhist/Christian/Hindu/Muslim, etc. convert to/practice a religion/Buddhism/Catholicism/Christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc. go to church/temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/mosque/synagogue belong to a church/a religious community join/enter the Church/a convent/a monastery/the clergy/the priesthood/a religious sect/a cult 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 bar mitzvah/a bat mitzvah carry out/perform a sacred/burial/funeral/fertility/purification rite/the last rites go on/make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/Diwali/Easter/Eid/Hanukkah/Passover/Ramadan 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/a message study/follow the dharma/the teachings of Buddha read/study/understand/interpret scripture/the Bible/the Koran/the Gospel/the Torah be based on/derived from divine revelation commit/consider something heresy/sacrilegereligious belief and experience seek/find/gain enlightenment/wisdom strengthen/lose/question your faith keep/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[uncountable, countable, usually singular] the fact of a bus, train, etc. going regularly to a particular place at a particular time small rural towns without regular bus service
  19. in tennis
  20. 12[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.
  21. set of plates, etc.
  22. 13[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
  23. being servant
  24. 14[uncountable] (old-fashioned) the state or position of being a servant to be in/go into service (= to be/become a servant)
  25. of official document
  26. 15[uncountable] (law) the formal giving of an official document, etc. to someone the service of a demand for payment
  27. Idioms
    at the service of somebody/something, at somebody's service
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    completely available for someone to use or to help someone 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) (formal)
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    to be useful or helpful Can I be of service to anyone?
    do somebody a/no service (formal)
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    to do something that is helpful/not helpful to someone She was doing herself no service by remaining silent.
    press somebody/something into service
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    to use someone or 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 Learner's Dictionary entry: service