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Word forms:plural, 3rd person singular present tense services, present participle servicing, past tense, past participle servicedlanguage note:   For meaning [sense 14], services is both the singular and the plural form.1. countable noun

A service is something that the public needs, such as transport, communications facilities, hospitals, or energy supplies, which is provided in a planned and organized way by the government or an official body.

Britain still boasts the cheapest postal service.

We have started a campaign for better nursery and school services.

The authorities have said they will attempt to maintain essential services.

2. countable noun [oft in names]

You can sometimes refer to an organization or private company as a particular service when it provides something for the public or acts on behalf of the government.

...the BBC World Service.

...Careers Advisory Services.

3. countable noun

If an organization or company provides a particular service, they can do a particular job or a type of work for you.

The kitchen maintains a twenty-four-hour service and can be contacted via Reception.

The larger firm was capable of providing a better range of services.

4. plural noun

Services are activities such as tourism, banking, and selling things which are part of a country's economy, but are not concerned with producing or manufacturing goods.

Mining rose by 9.1%, manufacturing by 9.4% and services by 4.3%.

...the doctrine that a highly developed service sector was the sign of a modern economy.

5. uncountable noun

The level or standard of service provided by an organization or company is the amount or quality of the work it can do for you.

Taking risks is the only way employees can provide effective and efficient customer service.

The current level of service will be maintained during the holidays.

6. countable noun [usually noun NOUN]

A bus or train service is a route or regular journey that is part of a transport system.

A bus service operates between Bolton and Salford.

7. plural noun [with poss]

Your services are the things that you do or the skills that you use in your job, which other peoplefind useful and are usually willing to pay you for.

I have obtained the services of a top photographer to take our pictures. [+ of]

The performers have all offered their services free of charge.

8. uncountable noun

If you refer to someone's service or services to a particular organization or activity, you mean that they have done a lot of work for it or spent a lot of their time on it.

You've given a lifetime of service to athletics. [+ to]

More than half his long service in parliament has been as a cabinet minister.

...the two policemen, who have a total of 31 years' service between them.

He was awarded the OBE in 1990 for services to fashion.

9. countable noun [usually plural]

The Services are the army, the navy, and the air force.

In June 1945, Britain still had forty-five per cent of its workforce in the Services and munitions industries.

10. uncountable noun

Service is the work done by people or equipment in the army, navy, or air force, for example during a war.

The regiment was recruited from the Highlands specifically for service in India. aircraft carrier that saw service in World War II.

11. uncountable noun

When you receive service in a restaurant, hotel, or shop, an employee asks you what you want or gives you what you have ordered.

Bill was £68 including service and a couple of bar drinks and wine.

...clean stores with respectful service and fair prices.

Synonyms: waiting, attendance, serving of food, waiters or waitresses   More Synonyms of service

12. countable noun

A service is a religious ceremony that takes place in a church.

After the hour-long service, his body was taken to a cemetery in the south of the city.

...the church in which the President was attending morning service.

Synonyms: ceremony, ritual, worship, rite   More Synonyms of service

13. countable noun [usually noun NOUN]

A dinner service or a tea service is a complete set of plates, cups, saucers, and other pieces of china.

...a 60-piece dinner service.

14. countable noun

A services is a place beside a motorway where you can buy petrol and other things, or have a meal.


They had to pull up, possibly go to a motorway services or somewhere like that.

We have repeatedly told planners that services are vital on a motorway.

regional note:   in AM, use rest area15. countable noun [oft with poss]

In tennis, badminton, and some other sports, when it is your service, it is your turn to serve.

She conceded just three points on her service during the first set.

16. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]

Service is used to describe the parts of a building or structure that are used by the staff who clean, repair, or look after it, and are not usually used by the public.

He wheeled the trolley down the corridor and disappeared with it into the service lift.

...the bigger tunnels, which run either side of the service tunnel.

17. uncountable noun [oft in/into N]18. verb

If you have a vehicle or machine serviced, you arrange for someone to examine, adjust, and clean it so that it will keep working efficiently and safely.

I had my car serviced at the local garage. [have noun VERB-ed]

Make sure that all gas fires and central heating boilers are serviced annually. [be VERB-ed]

[Also VERB noun]

Synonyms: overhaul, check, maintain, tune (up)   More Synonyms of service

Service is also a noun.

The car needs a service.

The company sends a service engineer to fix the disk drive before it fails.

19. verb

If a country or organization services its debts, it pays the interest on them.

Almost a quarter of the country's export earnings go to service a foreign debt of $29 billion. [VERB noun]

Synonyms: pay off, clear, settle, square   More Synonyms of service

20. verb

If someone or something services an organization, a project, or a group of people, they provide it with the things that it needs in order to function properly or effectively.

There are now 400 staff at headquarters, servicing our regional work. [VERB noun]

Fossil fuels such as oil and gas will service our needs for some considerable time to come. [VERB noun]

21.  See also active service, Civil Service, community service, emergency services, in-service, National Health Service, national service, public service, room service

27.  to be pressed into service

More Synonyms of service

COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers


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