Topic: TRADE

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin servitium 'condition of being a slave', from servus; SERVE1


1 noun
ser‧vice1 S1 W1

official system/organization

[countable]SS the official system for providing something, especially something that everyone in a country needs to have, or the official organization that provides it:
the health service
the postal service
the police service
the prison service
Workers in the emergency services (=police, hospital, and the fire service) are forbidden from striking.
There has been a decline in public services in recent years.
the essential services (=the police, hospitals, fire service, and organizations that provide basic things such as water, gas, or electricity)
civil service, fire service, Internal Revenue Service, Diplomatic Service, National Health Service, secret service, security service

something provided by a company

[countable] a particular type of help or work that is provided by a business to customers, but not one that involves producing goods:
A wide range of financial services are available.
provide/offer a service
Datapost offers a delivery service to over 160 countries.
Our aim is to provide the best service at the lowest price.
the supply of goods and services
service industry

in a shop/restaurant/hotel

[uncountable]BBT the help that people who work in a shop, restaurant, bar etc give you
good/bad/slow etc service
The service was terrible and so was the food.
customer service
At our bank we insist on high standards of customer service.
Service is included in your bill (=the charge for paying the people who serve you is included).
room service, self-service, service charge


[uncountable] also services the work that someone does for a person or organization, especially over a long period
20/30 years etc of service
Brian retired after 25 years of service to the company.
a long service award
a career in public service (=work done for the public or the government)
services to somebody/something (=all the good work you have done for someone or something)
He received an award for services to sport.

work done for somebody


[plural] skilled work or advice from a particular type of worker who you use to help you do something
somebody's services as something
Why don't you offer your services as a tennis coach?


jury/military/community etc service

SCL something that ordinary people can be asked to do as a public duty or as a punishment:
Her attacker was sentenced to 120 hours community service.

being used

[uncountable] used to talk about whether a piece of equipment, a vehicle etc is available to be used, or how long it can be used
in service (=being used or available to be used)
These trains have been in service for many years.
out of service (=not being used or not available to be used)
The escalator is out of service.
give good/excellent etc service (=work well and last a long time)
Steel tools give good service for years.

religious ceremony

[countable]RR a formal religious ceremony, especially in church
hold/conduct a service
The service was held in the chapel.
marriage/funeral/christening etc service
a memorial service for the disaster victims


the services

British English

; the service

American EnglishPM a country's military forces, especially considered as a job
join/go into the services
Maybe you should join the services.
Her son is in the services.


[singular, uncountable] formal help that you give to someone
be at somebody's service (=be available to help someone, or for someone to use)
My secretary is at your service.
be of service (to somebody) (=help someone)
Can I be of any service?
do somebody a service (=do something that will help someone)
He did her a service by telling her the truth.

check a car/machine

[countable]D an examination and repair of a machine or car to keep it working properly:
I'm getting the bus home - my car's in for a service.

tennis/ball game

[countable]DS an act of hitting a ball through the air in order to start a game, especially in tennis:
It's your service.

on a motorway


[countable] British EnglishTTR a place near a motorway where you can stop and have a meal or drink, or buy food, petrol etc [↪ service station]:
How far is it to the next services?

plates/cups etc

DFU [countable] a set of plates, bowls, cups etc that match each other

bus/train/plane etc

[countable usually singular] British EnglishTT a regular journey made by a bus, train, boat etc to a particular place at a particular time:
the 8:15 service to Cambridge

be in service/go into service

British English to be working or start working as a servant in someone's house, especially in the past domestic service

legal document

[uncountable] formal when someone is given a legal document telling them that they must do something or that something is going to happen:
the service of a summons

for services rendered

formal for work you have done or help you have given:
payment for services rendered
active service, lip service

; ➔ press somebody/something into service

at press2 (13)

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