Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


In your service I have spent many toilsome days and sleepless nights.

It is only right that I should employ a portion in His service.

In his pocket there were nearly two hundred dollars, not likely to be of any service to him.

Then they wait for a third service, and after that start out home again.

That's fortunate, sir; if you are a stranger here, your service to me will be greater.

I thanked her, when she came up, for her past service to me.

He was thirty years in my governor's service, and doesn't understand my ways.

But the morning service has concluded, and the streets are again crowded with people.

As Americans, we go forward, in the service of our country, by the will of God.

He was received with joy for the service he had rendered to the Italian people.


c.1100, "celebration of public worship," from Old French servise "act of homage; servitude; service at table; Mass, church ceremony," from Latin servitium "slavery, condition of a slave, servitude," also "slaves collectively," from servus "slave" (see serve (v.)).

Meaning "act of serving, occupation of an attendant servant" is attested from c.1200, as is that of "assistance, help; a helpful act." From c.1300 as "provision of food; sequence of dishes served in a meal;" from late 14c. as "service at table, attendance during a meal." Meaning "the furniture of the table" (tea service, etc.) is from mid-15c.

Meanings "state of being bound to undertake tasks for someone or at someone's direction; labor performed or undertaken for another" are mid-13c. Sense of "service or employment in a court or administration" is from c.1300, as is that of "military service (especially by a knight); employment as a soldier;" hence "the military as an occupation" (1706).

Also in Middle English "sexual intercourse, conjugal relations" (mid-15c.; service of Venus, or flesh's service). Service industry (as distinct from production) attested from 1938. A service station originally was a gas stop that also repaired cars.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.