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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Serv(e, Serf, Sarve, Ser, v.1 Also: serw(e, scherve, scherwe, sairve, serfe, serff(e, sairf, seref(f, serife, seryf, seiref, sarwe, sarf(e, sar, sair. Pres. t. also service. [ME and e.m.E. serue(n (c1175), serrfenn, serrvenn (both Orm), sarue(n, sareue(n (both Layamon), sarif (1435), sarofe (c1450), sarve (1599), OF servir (late 9th c. in Larousse), L. servīre.]On forms in scher-, see the note to Service n.; but see also the quotation from Edinb. D. Guild Acc. MS in sense 22 (1), where the form scherwit is written in full.

I. 1. a. tr., intr. To render service, obedience and loyalty to a (feudal) superior, sovereign or other authority as a liegeman, loyal retainer or supporter, courtier, etc. b. specif. In a bond of manrent, to give one's allegiance, etc. to (a patron). (Cf. Servand(e n. 2.)a., b. tr. 1375 Barb. iii 758.
Bath man & page Knelyt and maid the king homage And tharwith swour him fewte To serve him ay in lawte
?1438 Alex. i 2954.
He thocht … And he wald serue him in laute That he sould weill mak company Of gude Emynedus
?1438 Alex. ii 3155.
‘Vassale,’ he sais … 'Thow sall of him weill vengit be And thow sall serue ws with gude will' … 'Sic seruice … Is gude … And quhen men seruis on sik manere The lord sould be gude guardonere’
c1450-2 Howlat 379 (A).
The soverane signe … That seruit his serenite euer seruabile The armes of the Dowglas douchty bedene
a1500 Henr. Fab. 439 (Bann.).
I [sc. the fox] come bot here ȝow [sc. the cock] service for to mak. Wald I nocht serve ȝow schir I wer to blame, As I hawe done to ȝoure progenitouris
a1500 Henr. Fab. 457 (Bann.).
Ȝow [sc. the cock] for to serve I wald crepe on my wame
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS 265b/21.
I sperit his name and he said Panderus That sumtyme servit the gud knycht Troyelus
1559 Knox I 326. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 323.
Na mair rewaird of ȝour grace I desire Thocht all my life I haue seruit ȝour impire
1560 Rolland Seven S. 288. 1562 Montgomery Mem. II 191.
The saidis Robert sall … during the tyme of his tutorie, reddelye intende, serue, and obey the saidis erle … quhen he salbe requirit thairto … our souerane lady … onelye beand exceptit
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 282.
Baronis, landit men, gentilmen and utheris quhilkis of befoir … wer detbund and accustumat to serve and await upoun the wardane at all dayis of trew and utheris tymes requisit for making and keping of guid rewll … dois now abstract thair presence, makis na service bot in a maner … estemis the said Sir Waltir of na grittar power nor ony uther commoun man nochtwithstanding that he is hir hienes officiar and wardane and occupiis hir place and auctorite in that part
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 283.
All and sindry baronis, landit men, [etc.] … quhilk of befoir wer in use to await and serve the Wardane that thai … convene … and await upoun the said … Wardane … to all dayis of trew … quhilk he sall appoint
a1568 Scott i 37.
Wald thow be servit and thy cuntre sure
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 33/44.
Ȝe liegeis … with trew hairt serve the authoritie
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 36/5.
Obey and serve the quein trewlie, Keip justice, peax and vnitie
1576 Douglas Chart. 274. a1578 Pitsc. I 34/6.
Ewerie man that servit the commone weill
a1578 Pitsc. II 159/11.
That the quens grace sould gif tham frie libertie of conscience to serue thair God as they pleis … and then they wald serue hir as thair quene and maistris
1589 Misc. Spald. C. IV 243.
Honour, assist, fortefay, and serue the said nobill lord witht all the kyne … that I may mak, in all his lordschippis actionis … aganis all lewand and deidly personis
(b) 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 74.
I [sc. Maxwell] had na thocht … bot to serwit my lord governour the quenis autori[t]e aganis ony man that wald asorpit aganis the same quhilk I sall be ay rady to wair my liff in that caus
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 432/11.
Thocht ȝe heff serwit mony ane ȝeir Ane lord one ȝour awen cost and geir
(c) c1490 Porteous Noblenes 184/7 (A).
All nobillis … gif thai be wys and will awowe to serf thé [sc. Perseverance]
1515 11th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. vi 31.
[I] sall serf him lelely and treulie with my kyn and freyndis
1525 Douglas Corr. 98.
Becaus thai knaw surly I will serf the kingis grace my maister als fermly as ony uthir lege
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 73.
I thank your grace … that ye will be my gud and gracius lady sa that I be trew and serff the quenis grace your dochter … lyke as I haiff promist
1548 Misc. Bann. C. III 410.
It is schawin to me that my lord of Lenox suldbe miscontentit with Mr. Steward becaws his desyre is to serffe the kyngis maiestie in my cumpany but I wald be glaide to se my lord of Lenox cum & be desyrus to serffe him selff, nor to se him angry with suche as ar willing to serffe so that the kingis maiestie myght be serffit with vs all togider
1554 Misc. Spald. C. II 276.
Giffis our band of manrent faithfull kyndnes and seruitud to … George Erll of Erroll … and Androw Maister of Erroll … to serf the said lord and maister at all tymes
(d) 1552 Breadalbane Doc. No. 84.
Reddy bodin to serife the said Collin … on hors & on futt
1582 Waus Corr. 243.
The gud will I haif to serif your lordschip nocht with e seruece … bot with my hart in word and work
(e) 1577–8 Warrender P. (SHS) I 136.
I hawe saruit the king lang, for I begowth befoir his byrth
(f) 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 39.
Gif all thir thingis can nocht adres my lord Levynnox till remayn at yow … than lawbour at him [etc.] … that tha do na thingis … that ma be prejudiciall … advertissing … that ye will assist [etc.] … and thus ye to haif yow sa resonable that tha sall haif na caus … bot to sarf yow and till think you sa neidfull that tha sall seyk you
1554 Acts II 601/1.
And for geving occasioun to vtheris oure subiectis to sarfe ws deligentlie in sic trew and hertlie obeysance in tyme cuming for setting of oure said realme in tranquillitie
intr. (1) 1375 Barb. ii 171.
Thair frendschip woux ay mar & mar, For he [sc. Douglas] serwyt ay lelely, And the tother [sc. Bruce] … Rewardyt him weile his seruice
?1438 Alex. ii 3161 (see tr. above). c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 206/18.
To serve and leif in beggartie To man and maistir is baith schame
1546 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 42.
[I] salbe reddy to serff … quheneuer I am chargeit
1548 Misc. Bann. C. III 410 (see tr. (c) above). 1577–8 Warrender P. (SHS) I 135.
Quhen his henes pleses to hawe it [sc. Edinburgh Castle], lat ane jentilman unsuspek that hes sarwit trewly be plasit into it
(2) 1375 Barb. i 436.
The Clyffurd sall thaim haiff for he Ay lely has serwyt to me
1460 Hay Alex. 2062.
Baith in to tyme of peace and in tyme of were … Quhow thai suld serwe and bear thame to thair king And that ane realm but reull may nocht stand

c. tr. transf. Of the apostles: To render service and obedience to Christ. a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 102.
The twelf appostolis … war vith hyme as chosine knychttis, Servand hyme bath day & nychtis

d. intr., tr. transf. To render similar service for a wife or to a husband.intr. c1554 Makeson Genesis 160.
Jacob … servit [MS servit; ed. schervit] as hart culd thynk Quhill baith Lya & sche [sc. Rachel] vas one him maryit
tr. c1590 Fowler I 48/41.
Sche … dois follow so hir lord Was quene of Pontus that for lowe dois now to this accord With servile clothis and suche attyre Mithridates to serwe That in his jornayis and conflicts from him did never swerwe

2. tr., intr. To perform the functions and duties of a servant in sense 1 of Servand(e n.; to render service. Also in fig. or allegorical context.There may be some ambiguity with sense 1.tr. a1400 Leg. S. vii 517.
Josaphus … than Bad his falow suthly chece, Quethyre ware leware hyme, the lif lese Or liff & serwe hym at his will
c1420 Ratis R. (STS) 1018.
Gud sone, serue a mychtty man And kep weil to thi labour than
1456 Hay (Glenn) III 73/4.
Tobe seruit with lele seruandis till his prince and hamely officis
1456 Hay (Glenn) III 12/171 (see intr. below). 1460 Hay Alex. 2271.
Ane messinger … dois nocht bot his maisteris bidding; It is nocht we it is oure lord the king The quhilk we serwe
c1460 Consail Vys Man 91.
Serve thi maister weil … And luk thow failȝe hym in no poynt And luf weil al thing that he louis And commend nocht at he reprwys
a1500 K. Hart 113.
Servit this quene, Dame Plesance, all at richt, First Hie Apporte, Bewtie, and Humilnes, With mony vtheris madinis
a1500 K. Hart 760.
Than Jelosie come strekand vp the stair To serve the king
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 152/72.
Mony sweir bumbard belly huddroun [etc.] … Him [sc. Sweirnes] servit ay with sounȝie
1513 Doug. v xii 72.
Nawtes, quham the goddes Mynerve Our al the layf instrukkyt hym [sc. Æneas] to serve [Sm. serf]
c1530-40 Stewart Maitl. F. 247/33.
To gif all that thow wynnis To thame about that seruice thé
c1590 Fowler II 134/1.
He [sc. a prince] ought onlye to be cairfull that he committ not great and havie iniuryes aganst these that serveth him and remaneth about his persoun
1642 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 41. 1644 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 26.
The defender fied himselff with the said persewar and promisit faithfullie to have servit him from Witsonday last to Mertimes nixt and hes not entrit to his service
intr. 1456 Hay (Glenn) III 12/171.
War he neuer sa grete a lordis sone … he war the better that in ȝouthede sum lord that he seruit to kerue before him, to serue in chaumer [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Coll. iii 22.
Seruandis, obey ye be althingis to fleschlie lordis, nocht seruing at the e, as plesing to men, bot in simpilnes of hart
c1530-40 Stewart Maitl. F. 371/16.
Sum serwis weill and haldis him still putand all in his maistiris will
1536 Misc. Spald. C. IV 200.
Being on the said erleis expenssis in all materis that I serf or ryde in his seruice
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1798 (B).
Schir [sc. the king], I [sc. Diligence] haif scheruit all this ȝeir

3. a. tr. To render (someone) service as (a member of) a ship's crew, craftsman, tradesman or his assistant by fulfilling the functions and obligations attached thereto; also, specif., to serve (a master) as an apprentice. (Cf. Servand(e n. 4.)tr. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 55 (A).
The buchour sall serf the burges in the tym of the slayng of thar beestis … & thar flesch to sla & dycht … ande he sall haf for a kow … i ob.
1573 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 1.
Decernit to remane and serf Thomas Hutone cordinar for the space of half ane ȝeir
1602 Conv. Burghs II 133.
The saidis marineris to serwe the skipper of new as thai conditioned before thair outcuming from Scotland
1602 Conv. Burghs II 138.
Giff ony skipper becumis seik, … sua that his awneris will sett in ane vther skipper … , than … the cumpany to serwe and saill with this new in sett skipper for the samyn hyre
1633 Lithgow Poet. Remains 112.
Trone lords … That sometimes serue the hangman, scaffolds make
c1650 Spalding I 309.
This capitane wes … nik named Kard, becaus when he wes ane boy he servit ane Kaird
16… Bk. Old Edinb. C. XX 110.
Lykway he since hes left the friemen in the Cannogate and went and served John Simsone in Edr. the years he had to serve
intr. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 53 (A) (see b (3) below).

b. intr. To perform the function appropriate to the person or persons concerned, as of a tradesman, seaman, etc.; to hold office or officiate in(to) some capacity, etc.; to attend to (a task); to serve (an apprenticeship); to fulfil (an obligation).(1) ?1438 Alex. i 399.
‘Gif ȝe will this errand make [etc.] … ’ ‘Into Paradise wald I nocht be Halely to serue on sic seruis’
1536 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 131.
Villiam Vallut and Janot Tullows hewand the vs and service of Sanct Margretis bell at thai schaw relevently betuix this and xix day of the instant monetht … quhat thai ar restrikit to the office of dempstary be ressone of service of said bell [etc.] … than to be decernit to seiref the haill ȝeyr ȝeyrly continualy
1557 Dundee B. Laws 335.
The dekin, assessors [etc.] … hes resauit James Duncane to thair craft … albeit he hes not seruit dewlie [ed. dewtie] in all poyntis as become him of the craft
1602 Conv. Burghs II 133.
The skipper sall pay … the quarter of the Scottis half hyre … and the cumpany to be subiect to serwe thairfor … Item. In quhatsumeuir port … the half hyre being payit … as is abouewrittin the cumpany to serue hamewart or to ony vther port … att the will of the maister, and gif thai serwe outward [etc.]
(b) 1628 Dumbarton B. Rec. 24.
Thairfoir thay ordaine … a number to go doun with him to beir witness and to sair with him
(2) 1657 Balfour Ann. II 125.
Monseur de Janweile seruid as grate pantler, Monseur the Ducke of Elbuiffe as cupbearir
1664 Glasgow B. Rec. III 49.
The supplicatioune given in be Thomas Montcuir goldsmith showing that he had servit his prentiship in Aberdein and that sen syne he had servit four year jurnayman in Edinburgh with dacone [blank]
(3) 1425 (1426) Reg. Great S. 11/1.
Sir Wilȝeam and George … servand in the said office endurand the terme
14.. Burgh Laws c. 53 (A).
Quhat euer he be that seruis in the kingis millis … the masteris sal tak the multeris & the seruice to the mene that bringis thar corne to the mylne & … multer tak & lelly serf til ilkane in ilk stede of the mylne
1525 Crim. Trials I i 127.
Archibald Erll of Anguse … swore that he suld lelely and treuly serue in to the office of wardanery and lieutenentry of the Bordouris
1558-66 Knox II 271.
The old dounty-bowris, and otheris that long had served in the Court
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 327.
Sa laik of leuing, I conclude, Dois mak the laik of multitude To serue into the ministrie

c. tr. To perform the duties associated with (an office, function, public body, etc.); also, to serve one's prentischip or one's time as an apprentice.(1) 1461 Peebles B. Rec. I 139.
Thir ar the lynnoris to serf the burgh of Pebillis [16 names]
1495 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 368.
Thai that has seruit the office of dempstarchip
1570 Edinb. Skinners in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 68.
Jhone Wolsoun, servand admittit for God sak to sarf the craft leille and trevle
1628 St. A. Baxter Bks. 90.
Thay ordane … that Robert Kenloquhye prenteis to Patrik Walker sall at na tyme heirefter work or labour … in handling of daugh … except onlie to serve and vork his maisteris daugh
1628 Glasgow B. Rec. I 368.
The haill mylnes belongis to the toun heritablie and in tak to be servit be ane myller and ane knave
1659 Irvine Mun. II 81.
For the said Robert Galt and his forsaids inhabeilling to serve the said sucken
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. ii xv § 4 (1678) 427.
Therefore no justice court, either in the border, or elsewhere, is lawful; except it be served either by the Justice-clerk-deput, or any having commission from him
(2) 1697 Rothesay B. Rec. 516.
A prentice who served his prentischip as a weiver and served his tyme wnder the comand of Allexander Fleiming

4. tr., intr. To render (a person) help or service, to assist (someone in distress), to minister to (a person's) needs. b. In the subscription to a letter.There is some overlap with 1 above. The Kennedy quot. may belong in 1.tr. 1375 Barb. iii 762.
Thai fand meit till his cumpany And serwyt him full humely
?1438 Alex. ii 370.
In the eld of xviii ȝeir He bare first armes and … With-held the lordis sonnes of the land, Quhilkis seruit him with fute and hand
?1438 Alex. ii 5197.
That was ane madin full mynȝeot That seruit Gaudefere and Betys And thare syster
c1420 Wynt. vi 1624.
The mylnere Hym thare resaywyd … Till mete and drynke and till herbry And serwyd hym rycht curtasly
a1500 Rauf C. 268.
The Coilȝear and his wyfe baith with him thay ȝeid, To serue him all at thay mocht Till he was in bed brocht
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 223.
Him for to tempe the feind did deligence, Bot His angellis keipit Him in reuerence, Sarwand that sweit rycht as thair awne souerane
1533 Gau 24/27.
He that hes perfit lwiff in hime he is humil and redy to serwe euerie man
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 64.
Thinking my self most miserabill in thatt I haue nat beine abill to serfe you as I uoold
1693 Argyle P. 61.
Oh pray pitie my condesion so farr as to think I am capable of ingreatitude, one that even my esteem for you will be lost, one that to my power I will not sairve you
intr. a1400 Leg. S. vi 268.
Hyme that thou thinkis to fla … Is Godis frend, to quham ay Angelis serwys nycht & day
b. 1608 Haddington Corr. 119.
I besick you beliue I am … , your affectionat frind to sairf you

5. tr., intr. To fulfil the functions of a slave. (Cf. Servand(e n. 6.) Also fig., ‘to be a slave to’, to obey too slavishly.intr. c1420 Wynt. i 470.
He Tyll Sem and Japhet in threllage Sulde serve [C. serf] and mak thaim bath omage
c1420 Wynt. iv 1879.
In to serwytute to be Serwand to the Romanys ay
tr. 1513 Doug. ii xii 51 (Ruddim.).
Nor go to serf [L. servitum … ibo] na matroun Gregioun
fig. a1570-86 Maitl. F. 426/9.
The bondage of the hart Withe schame is for to serue

6. tr., intr. To profess service, loyalty, obedience, etc. to (a woman) as a lover. (Cf. Servand(e n. 9.)tr. ?1438 Alex. ii 1314.
And now I wald but lossingery Lufe hir and serue hir iolely
?1438 Alex. ii 1374.
That … is lufis richt … to … serue hir baith with hart and will
?1438 Alex. ii 6869.
I will Be ȝour knicht my sueit lady And serue ȝow wele and lelely
a1568 Bann. MS 267b/5.
My luve quhilk I hes seruit trewly
a1568 Scott v 47.
In May sowld men of amour go To serf thair ladeis
a1568 Scott vii 9.
Scho that I haif scheruit lang
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 432/16.
Thocht ȝe heff ladyis serwit lang And hes ȝour pithe prewit thame amang
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. ii 87.
Sche … , quhom I serued, bot scorn'd my loue
intr. a1500 Bk. Chess 287.
His [sc. the Duke's] douchter onely sa he luffit That for to serf hir he wald attend & walk To all hir kyn
15.. Clar. iv 2202.
To love and serve quho may loveris let?
a1568 Bann. MS 244a/21.
Mony mo That hes nocht seruit so In suting of thair sueit
a1585 Maitl. Q. 242/17.
Ȝe loveris … that boist to serve with loyaltie

7. tr. To perform military service for (someone), to serve as a soldier. Also absol. or intr.tr. ?1438 Alex. ii 5254.
I sall serue with sheild and speir The folk that ar in the citie
1456 Hay I 137/21.
Quhethir gif a knycht servis a king in his weris agayn his will, gif he aw till ask him wagis, or nocht
1516 Reg. Privy S. I 435/2.
The said Thomas furnisand for him ane able man to serff the king in his weris
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 115.
Ane knicht Quhilk did me serue in monie dangerous feild
1571 Bann. Trans. 203.
The said proclamatione prohibiting men of weir to serve thé in thy treasonable interpryses
intr. 1430 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 391.
I … sall serff witht iii hors qwyll my fader leffis and efter hym witht sex
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 176/27 (A).
Worthines makis noble men to knaw that has hart and corage to serf wndere hir banere
c1590 Fowler II 102/15.
The assisting and helping forces … ar alwayes hurtfull vnto thame that serveth for thame and ar served by thame
1627 Justiciary Cases I 75.
Ane ȝoung … man destitute of ane laufull calling mair necessair to serue in his maiesteis wearis abrode nor [etc.]
(b) 1573 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxix 158.
The suddartis swarfit, and said thay wald not sar [: nar]

8. tr., intr. To be a devoted servant of, to serve as a devotee or worshipper, to do the will of (God or Christ, a saint, Satan, a pagan deity). b. tr. specif. In performing an act or acts of worship.tr. 1375 Barb. iv 263.
For Mynerwe ay wes wont serwe Him [sc. the Devil], till scho leffyt
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 30.
How that men ma ensample ta For to serwe God
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 574. 1456 Hay II 100/20.
To lofe and serve God
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 510.
The spreit of man sal … gange till hyme quhar it has seruit eftir the jugment
c1475 Wall. i 283.
Quha serwit hir [sc. St. Margaret], full gret frendschipe thai fand With Sothroun folk
1490 Irland Mir. I 12/28.
Dreid God, serue him with hert and mynd
c1490 Irland Asl. MS I 74/9.
Bot thai tymes quhen I suld principally haue seruit God erare doand synnis
c1515 Asl. MS I 299/8. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 202/31.
Ȝour commone menstrallis hes no tone … Cunningar men man serve Sanct Cloun
1513 Doug. xi xvi 24.
Quhat proffitis thé … To haue servyt so lang the blissyt Diane?
1562-3 Winȝet II 28/20 (see 11 below). 1590 Crim. Trials I ii 211.
[They] sould newir latt ane teir fall fra thair ene salang as thay seruit him [sc. the Devil]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 157.
The Devill thy maister, quhome thow seruis
1596 Dalr. I 142 marg.
Thay teache only ane God sould be seruet
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 29/205.
Crafty Sathan … causde his gods and preests of olde to speake By nomber and measure … That olde voce [sc. which was] serude in Dodon spak in verse
(b) c1460 Thewis Wysmen 289.
The well of visdome … Ys knaw and luf God soueranly Tyll honor serf and kep biding
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 431 (Asl.).
My God … Grant … strenth thi law till execute And serf Thé sa … That of Thi grace I be nevir destitut
(c) c1600 Montg. Suppl. v 42.
Now of thai outtlawes I am ane Sell newer ser thé [sc. Cupid] for reward
intr. a1400 Leg. S. i 164.
In taknyn at thai suld be seruand to God in thare degre
a1400 Leg. S. vi 160.
Angelis, that ay seruis to God nycht & day
a1400 Leg. S. xviii 1478.
& lef thare syne & serwe hyre [sc. the Virgin Mary] til
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. iv 10.
Thou sal wirschip thi Lord God and to him allane thou sal serue
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Ephes. v 5. 1533 Boece 322b.
Sum place … quhare … he mycht … perpetualie serf to Criste
b. c1420 Wynt. iv 2624.
Thare, in a kyrk off oure Lady, Frere Mynowris now devotly … Serwys God bathe nycht and day
a1500 Rauf C. 406.
Vpon solempnit Ȝule day … Quhen his God to serue he suld haue him drest
c1475 Wall. xi 1339.
Hvmbly to God his [sc. Wallace's] spreyt he thar comend Lawly him serwyt with hartlye deuocioun Apon his kneis and said ane orysoun
1533 Boece 210.
To Sanctandro, his servand Rewll, and preistis to serf almychty God, he gaif frelie his palace

9. tr., intr. To be the incumbent of a benefice or ministerial charge; to carry out the duties associated with this; also, to serve the (one's) cure (at a church), to serve at (a church).tr. (1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 149/97.
The ballance gois unevin That thow allece to serff hes kirkis sevin
1540 Ecclesia Antiqua 286.
The said Schir Robert Akynhed to seryf and manne [pr. maune] the said aulter of our ladie
1562-3 Winȝet I 16/10.
Give ȝe be not admittit be thay kirkis quhome ȝe serve
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 55.
The congregatione him commandit To serve a kirk and keip a cure
1612 Fife Synod 51.
Clovay [church] vnplanted, served be David Brown
1627 Rep. Parishes 27.
They haue bene both servit with on minister for laik of manteinance
(2) 1596 Dalr. II 399/26.
Sum religious persounis … quha … becaus of thair ignorance that vttirrlie na lettres tha had to serue thair cure [etc.]
1618 Oliphants 196.
To the minister serving the cuir at the samene kirk
1654 Galloway P. 13 Jan.
To the minister serving the cure at the Kirk of Dalry
1659 Rothesay B. Rec. 27.
The said Mr. Johne as present minister serveing the cuir to have just richt to the saids designit lands as a part of his gleib … dureing his service at the said kirk
intr. 1435 Laing Chart. 30.
[Granting to the] Lady awter off the parische kyrk of North Berwyk and tyll Schir Androw Ferour thare serwand [lands] in the est gate [etc.]
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I 147.
The chapellane that seruis in the chapele of Our Lady sal be … oursear of the sayd almushous
1572 Burns Benef. Lect. 76.
To the use and eisment [of] sic as salbe admittit to serve and minister at the said kirk
1624 Moray Synod 7.
That Mr. Patrik Dunbar his trawells ar vnfruitfull in the place wherin he serves … throughe want of the language
1657 Craven Ch. in Orkney 5.
Ane testimonial of the … elders of the parochin of Forteviot, where he served before

b. tr., intr. To perform the duties of a minister in the Church.tr. 1560 Bk. Disc. 199.
It is nott to be supposed that all man will dedicat him self … so to God and to serve his kirk that thai luyke for no warldlie commoditie
1558-66 Knox II 197.
Him quho in his lyiff did faithfullie serve the kirk of God
1558-66 Knox II 344.
The first writtar ansured that he served the Kirk at thair commandiment, … was content, that [etc.]
intr. 1568 Peebles Chart. 74.
The said Johne Tuedy … being found qualifiit to serf and mak ministratioun in the kirk of God
1581 Bk. Disc. in Calderwood III 547.
Unmeit men … quha ar not myndit to serve in the kirk, bot leife an idle lyfe

10. tr. a. To be the celebrant at, to officiate in (a church service). b. To serve (a person) with (of) mass or a sacrament, as celebrant. c. ? To assist (a priest) as a server.a. 1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 54.
[The] alderman and balyeis … conducnit him yeirly [as chaplain] als lang as he seruit the morne seruice
b. 1499 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 79.
The chapellane … to serue thame of mes and sacramentis of halie kirk
c. 1549 Reg. Cupar A. II 239.
He lawborand … as ane gude trew gardnir aucht to do … and sall serue the chapellane in our chapell that as efferis

11. tr., intr. fig. To give one's commitment or allegiance to, to minister to (something non-material, esp. one's own or another's appetite).tr. a1500 Henr. Orph. 406.
Quha seruis thé [sc. Love] … Perchance sum tyme he sall haue cause to rewe
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 187/18.
Defy the warld, feynȝeit and fals, … Quha maist it servis maist sall it repent
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxxxiv 21.
Sic is thair weird, … To serue thair beistlie lust and appatite
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 804.
His lady … So lustye, plesand, and perfyte, Reddy to serue his appetyte
1562-3 Winȝet II 28/20.
For thir kynd of men seruis nocht the Lorde Christe, bot thair awin belly
1567 G. Ball. 83.
Quha seruis the warld gais a mis
a1568 Bann. MS 86b/69.
Sum man servis ane blynd effectioun Benefices gevis quhair evir thai vacand be
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 61/6. a1578 Pitsc. II 86/30.intr. a1400 Leg. S. iii 116.
Ȝeris fowrty In the quhilkis I serwit ay To lichory

II. 12. To furnish, supply (someone) (in, of, with something, freq. a service); to act as supplier of goods or services; to supply or labour for (a workman). Also reflex.With Acts I 33/2 cf. 1st quot. in sense 3 a.(1) active ?1438 Alex. i 769.
And gif I fleand fra ȝow ȝeid I seruit ȝow of euill seruice
14.. Acts I 33/2.
Fleschewaris … sal serve the burges in tyme of slauchter that is to say fra the fest of Sayncte Martyne quhil Yhule of the flesche in thar lardyner to be graythit and dycht [L. carnifices vero servient burgensibus … de carnibus suis preparandis et conficiendis in lardariis]
a1500 Rauf C. 80.
For I haue seruit the ȝit of lytill thing to ruse
c1475 Wall. vii 422.
This trew woman thaim seruit … With lynt and fyr
1482 Peebles B. Rec. I 191.
The said Jhon … sall wphald the said kylle … and mak dew seruice and sufficiand to serwe the nychtbouris … in the drying of thar cornes
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 100.
To the werkmen that servit the said masonis with stane and morter
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 301.
Of twa barromen to serve them in mortor, wynning of stanis and bering of stanis to thame
a1568 Bann. MS 107b/58.
He … servis ws of our daly fvde And that with liberalitie
intr. 1608 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 47.
That na … ventaris and sellers of aill … serv with drink to honest men's servands … untill they be drunken
passive 1398–9 Acts I 211/2.
The kyng sal halde a parlement swa that his subiectis be servit of the law
c1475 Wall. x 320.
Serwyt thai war with gud speris enew
1494 Loutfut MS 111a.
Without he haue licence he aucht to be seruit of na thing harnes nor wapinnes fra he enter within the barrieris … this is the verray law of batell man for man … Bot now it is sufferit for a maner of … pollesy at thair entrais in barrieris to ask leiff & haue leif for to be seruit ay and quhill thai be enarmyt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 156/184 (Asl.).
Quhen thai war seruit with thair speris
1540 Acts II 373/1.
That all … cagearis and vtheris … be seruit for thare money of fische to the furnessing of the cuntre
15.. Clar. i 1141.
Clariodus … Was servit in his chalmer with alkin thing That unto his estait was pertining
reflex. c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 514.
This countrey of Glenfaighin … serveth itself waill, with corn, butter [etc.]
(2) active 1489 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XVI 95.
That Cristiane Herroun wranguslie straik hir and … drew hir of ane leddir quhair shw was seruand Nycoll Andersone quhair he theikaris
1528 Ayrsh. Coll. 2 Ser. XI (1976) 99.
[Harvesting the corn] 2 men stakand and 4 men sarwand tham
1567 Lanark B. Rec. 37.
Geif the said David biggis the said myl that he sal sarve the toun for thair knaifcheip … lyk as thej gat at Mouis Myl
1573–4 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 74.
To George Jak and Johne Jolie servand the masonis the saidis v dayis
1591 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 434.
To ane maisoun, … to ane barrowman to serve him
passive 1494 Loutfut MS 111a (see (1) above). 1496–7 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 70.
Quha sa takis the saidis mylnis … sall … tak thame with all aventouris … and sall … vphald the saidis mylnis in all maner of gangand grayth [etc.] … as thay will be seruit, vpoun thair awin expens
1531 Reg. Dunferm. 363.
Giff the said abbot … desyris ony pan wod … thay sall be seruit befor ony vtheris
1551 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS XXVII 106.
That nane … kepe ony bere … bot sell the samyn indifferentlie … sua that eviry brouster be servit be thar callandis as of befor
1556 Glasgow Bakers 59.
It sall nocht be lesum to nayne travellour that bringis breid to the mercat to sell the samyn … quhill the inhabitantis of the towne be first servit
reflex. 1511 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 133.
That the said nychtbouris vse their awin wechtis bot to serue thame selffis within thair awin houssis
1680 Cullen B. Rec. 19 (5 March).
[Persons steal property] to the great prejudice … of vthers who are in ane conditione to serve themselffes in the lyk

b. To furnish, supply (material) to (another workman). 1544 Perth Hammermen 51.
His cordineris that servis and connerris ledder to him [sc. a saddler]

c. To supply (a danger, blow, etc.) till (someone). 1375 Barb. x 347.
Quhar he [sc. Douglas] mony a iuperty And fayr poyntis off chewalry Serwyt [C. Preuit, 1571 Preifit] als weill be nycht as day Till thaim that in the castellis lay Of Roxburch and Jedwort

d. To supply (a person) with a sexual service.Wynt. quot. may be a contracted p.t. of Sard v.Cf. e.m.E. serve, (of a male animal) to cover (the female) (1577).See also (to serve) mouth thankles in Mouth n. 5 (1). c1420 Wynt. viii 2044 (C).
Sa said the prest at serde [E. sard, R. swywyd] thi wif
a1568 Bann. MS 264b/55.
Commonyng betuix the mester and the heure … quod scho … gif me a kis It is ourlait to schute me owte … Ȝe salbe servit for a croun

e. To furnish (a thing) with whatever is necessary. 1612 Inverurie 195.
Margaret Mackieson is ordaint to big ane cassie, the bred of her toft … the bred four futt in all pairtis sufficientlie sairt and cassiet

13. tr. a. To serve (food or a course of food), as a waiter at table. b. To supply (a person, also, the persons at a dining-table) (with (of) food or drink), by waiting at table or generally.Freq. in passive.a. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 420.
Thy sweit meitis seruit in plaittis clene
a1500 Seven S. 1515.
Quhen all the mesis ar seruit & set
1492 Myll Spect. 278/20.
Scho … cuttit hir sone in pecis and maid him to be seruit in a sew befor hir husband
a1500 K. Hart 58.
All nutriment That to this king wes seruit at the deis
1494 Loutfut MS 42a.
Quhen the second cours and the entremais ar seruit
active 1541 Treas. Acc. VII 477.
To Johnne Richartsoun, Johnne Monteith, Johne Murray, that servis the desertis
b. (1) a1400 Leg. S. ii 97.
Of the cowp he seruit hym ay
a1400 Leg. S. xl 394.
He … askit hyme quhy that thai Vare nocht seruit of caile that day
c1450-2 Howlat 694 (A).
All war merschalit to meit … Syne seruit semely … With all curis of cost that cukis couth kyth
c1475 Wall. xi 1348.
Bot Inglismen him seruit off carnaill fud
a1500 Seven S. 1544.
Syne with danteis ynewe at all Servit baith the burd and hall
1494 Loutfut MS 1a.
Quhen the king is seruit of his mete at his table
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 381.
Sik reule gerris thé be servit wyth cald rost
c1500 Makc. MS iv 34.
Rycht swyth thai seruit thé with gall
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4487.
Quhen ȝe ar all at ȝour maiestie, With all ȝour meitis weill seruit at the tabill
(2) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 74 (B).
Qwhilis thai serue thaim thai sal ete wyth thaim
a1500 Rauf C. 181.
Quhen thay war seruit and set to the suppar
a1500 Rauf C. 713.
Thair was seruit in that saill seigis semelie
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 15 (A).
Tham to serf thai had nocht bot ane boy
15.. Clar. ii 1644.
When silence beine of windand minstrellie, And buird beine servit

14. tr., intr. Of a priest or minister: To administer a sacrament to those present a. With a chalice. b. At a communion table.a. tr. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 62.
For ij tyn chalices to serve the kyrk with quhil the chalices wer gilt
b. c1680 W. Row Blair 138.
He served seventeen tables in the afternoon, on the 57th Psalm

c. Of an elder: To distribute the communion elements (to a particular table). 1596 St. A. Kirk S. 815.
Robert Williamsoun, Jhone Hagy [etc.] … to servie the taball with bred and wyne
1631 Elgin Rec. II 222.
To serue the tables the morne John Mill [and three others] morneing
c 1640 Dundonald Par. Rec. 522.
Directions for thes who serves at the tables … Let the lairger of the two baseins serve the mid table and efter serveing the two syde tables let thos who served the south table serve the south syde of the midle table also
intr. 1644 Kirkcaldy Presb. 270.
What order sallbe taken with them who alledgit inhabilitie to serve at the tables?

d. Of a basin: To be used for distributing the elements to (a communion table).c1640 Dundonald Par. Rec. 522 (see c above).

15. To distribute (lots). a1400 Leg. S. vii 509.
Thai … The cuttis thane [L. tradidit] serwit swa Til ilkane cane vthir sla

16. To behave towards or treat (a person) in a certain manner.The first Barb. quot. puns on 13 b. 1375 Barb. xvi 451, 454.
[Douglas] fand clerk Elis at the met And all his rout about him set. And … with suerdis that scharply schar Thai seruit thame full egyrly … Thai seruit thame in sa gret wayne With scherand swerdis and with knyvis
1375 Barb. xvi 595 (C).
Certis gif he gert serwe [E. serff] ȝow weill, The gilt spuris … He suld in hy ger hew ȝow fra
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 491 (Ch. & M.).
I nip on his finger; I serf him on the tothir syde on the samin fasson
1548 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 140.
Becaus the prouest and baillies hes bene euill seruit in tymes past quhen they had ado with assyssis or inqueists
1549 Compl. 15/18.
For or I hed ane beyrde I vas seruit lyik ane captan
1567 G. Ball. 233.
As we haue deseruit, sa sall we be seruit
c1600 Montg. Suppl. v 48.
Bott I sell stand vpoun my gaird Ay bodin as I wald be serwitt

17. To make over to or award to (another) something due to or sought (by him); to satisfy by due payment or by award. Chiefly in passive.Also const. in, of, with the payment or award.(1) 1467 Acts II 89/1.
That bath the creditour and the dettour … the borowar and the lennar … be seruit to the desyr of … thair contractis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 123/6.
Ȝour clarkis ar servit all aboute
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 124/31.
Quhone servit is all uther man, … No thing I gett nor conqueis can
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 148/80. 1564 Reg. Privy C. I 274.
To persew thair rychttis and interessis to the said office of Sherefclerkschip befoir the Lordis of Sessioun, as thai wilbe servit
(2) 1399 Acts I 212/1.
Of the said pension redely & deuly yher be yher without ony obieccion or lettyng thai ansuer serue & pay efter the tenour of the forsaid letterez
1435 Ayr B. Ct. 19 Dec.
To gar the said John be seruit of the said some
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 149/90.
I am possest in kirkis sevin, And ȝitt I think thai grow sall till ellevin Or he be servit in ane, ȝone ballet maker
1531 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 115.
Gef that Elesabeytht Tait can preff that scho arrestit or prissit this almery and standbed or [etc.] … scho sal be servit vith thaim for hir annuell

18. a. To comply with a request of (another) for combat, to ‘accommodate’ or ‘oblige’ with an opponent or of an encounter.Only in early verse. ?1438 Alex. ii 6133.
Tak nocht in euill thocht ȝe abyde Ȝe sall be sone … Serued with Caneus on his steid
c1420 Wynt. viii 5255.
Than Rychard Talbot can hym pray To serwe hym off thre cours of were, And he thaim grawntyt but dawngere
1460 Hay Alex. 1094.
Go furt and schaw thi maister meissinger That quhow-euer him list in quhat maner and plyte He salbe seruit at his awin appetyte

b. To grant or concede.Const. noun clause of what is requested. a1500 Henr. Prayer 66.
Superne lucerne, guberne this pestilens, Preserue and serue that we nocht sterf thairin

III. 19. intr. Of a thing, etc.: To be of use, to be serviceable (for, of, to (till) a function, or something involved in the particular function, also, to do something).To serve of na (litill, etc.) thing, to be of no (little) use.(1) a1578 Pitsc. I 275/24.
The Inglismen war forcit to licht on fute quhan thair horsis micht nocht serue
1591 Crim. Trials I ii 253.
[A waxen image] wes send hame agane to yow … for doing of the turne, as the said Annie declarit that itt sould serue
1591-2 Rob Stene 14.
Fy! tressoun! tressoun! oft thay cryit; That wald not serve thay war ourhyit
1614 Laing MSS 139.
Uther furnitur as is meittest for thame, guve it be breder nor halfe yeard bred les nor thertie all will serve
(2) 1540 Treas. Acc. VII 397.
Ane boist to keip hoistis in and ane cover to serve for the pax
1549 Compl. 10/35.
Tha vald gar ane instrament serue for ane hammyr ane turkes ane file [etc.]
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 650 (W).
Quod Curage: ‘we concludit ells, He serues [MS seruis; ed. schiruis] not for our mait’
c1590 Fowler I 238/11.
The graces of my dame And heuinly port might served for releif
1598 St. A. Baxter Bks. 54.
And keip the same to ane darth, mair nor may serve for the interteneing of his hous
1623 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 283.
The haill liberarie to be tirrit and the gestis thairof to be takine upe, and sic as will serue for the work to be turnit and lead againe, and new gestis to be putt in place of sic as will nocht serue
1687 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXVII 134.
Neither will the knowledge of these degrees be altogither uselese afterward, for they will serve for halfe chops and quarter chops and for holling the ball
(b) c1475 Wall. ii 73.
Gud ordinance, that serd for his estate, His cusyng maid at all tyme
(3) c1420 Ratis R. (STS) 232.
[The hands] ar instrunentis [sic] wys And maid to serf of gud seruice
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 180/30 (A).
Quha that is ane noble he leris quharof servis deligence
a1568 Bann. MS 135a/36.
Quhairof serwis the lok And the theif in the hous?
1587-99 Hume 43/60.
Sa serues it [sc. plague] to his seruants of a needefull whipping rod
c1420 Wynt. viii 3924.
The Erle off Ros, … Made stalwart and rycht lang fychtyng, That serwyd bot off lytill thyng
a1500 Rauf C. 908.
Tyte tell me thy name, it seruis of nocht
1550 Reg. Privy C. I 90.
And the fortis … be cassin doun becaus tha serve of na thing in tyme of pece
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 116/1.
This conferrens of scripturis is verray inpropir and seruis of nocht to thair intent
(4) 1531 Vaus (1531) 2.
To quhat cais seruis the comparatiue gre?
1549 Compl. 11/4.
Ande be cause that instrament seruit til mony officis [etc.]
1566 Reg. Privy C. I 446.
Artailȝearie and necessar munitioun, quhilk servis to na use gif it be nocht montit and dewlie acowterit
1566 Inv. Wardrobe 168.
In the gunhous … nyne moppatis mountit all serving to sindrie peceis
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 364.
Quhairfoir … do thay neglect The meanis that seruis to this effect?
a1578 Pitsc. II 282/3.
The ministeris of Godis vord … bot applyit all the commoditie quhilk sould have seruit to this to thair awin proffeit
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. (1591) F iij b.
Signs serue to two ends … first to beare hand to the trueth, secondly [etc.]
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xv.
The remembrance onely of death or buriall … is an effectuall awband of affection and restraint to sin. To the which vse S. Jerome made his mort-head to serue
(5) 1549 Compl. 28/10.
The file that filit the yrne is vorne ande cassin auaye as ane thing onutil to serue to do ony gude verk
1566 Inv. Wardrobe 173.
Tua lang geistis [ed. gristis] in the clois, serving to heis peceis from on the laicht to the heycht
1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 259.
If Patrik his laser will not serve to by thes thingis
1632 Lithgow Trav. v 184.
Linnen cloth that will not burne being cast into the fire, but serveth to make it neate and white

b. To be of use to (til, towardis) (a person or persons); to belong to (a person).(1) a1400 Leg. S. v 196.
Al creatur to be commone settis thare cur, as sone, mone, sternis al smal, Presis tham to serwe til all
1570 Bann. Memor. 53.
My pen culd serve nothing towardis thame but to ingraffe greater dolour and lamentatioune in thair hertis
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 221.
That the parpell wall in the eist end of the hie kirk betuix the sam and the utter tolbuith be tayne doun and set eister mair to the nixt gang of pillers that the said tolbuith may serve for ane interim mair commodiouslie to the sowth west quarter
(2) 1622-6 Bisset II 225/16.
The … maryneris … salhave the cofferris and commoun claythis servand to thair inimies

20. tr. To be useful or serviceable to (a person), to supply or furnish the needs or requirements of, to accommodate (a person or persons), also, once, a bird.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi 420.
Althinge that nedfull ware To serwe & ese thame in thare fare
c1420 Ratis R. (STS) 193.
The taist of manis mouth … And for it seruice al comonly It aucht nocht be the mar vnworthy
1452 Acts II 41/2.
That na man halde wittall mayr than will serf him and his famyle for ane quarter of ane ȝere
1456–7 Peebles B. Rec. I 117.
The throgat sal serf tham bath vp throu and don throu
1457 Acts II 50/1.
We sulde haif bot a met and mesure generale to serue all the realme
a1500 Rauf C. 67. a1500 Colk. Sow ii 244.
In the hurd quhill it lyis It servis nowdir the warld nor multeplyis
1494 Loutfut MS 37a.
And the hors is ordanit to serf the ordre of knythed as the maist conueniant best that is
1497 Edinb. Hammermen 22b.
Ane honorabill mort clath to serf the haile craft
1507 Treas. Acc. III 413.
To ane man put out dukis furth of dubbes to serve the halkis
1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 91.
Als mony half furlatis as vyll sereff all the mellmen sufficientlie
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2694.
Giue thame the Spanȝe fleis That may serue weill sic ane vnsonsie sanct
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 441/133.
Sum tanttyng wordis … That service thame in all mateir
1612 Aberd. B. Acc. in Misc. Spald. C. V 92.
For ane quheil barrou to serue the toune 12 s.
1622 Perth Kirk S. 11 Nov.
Making of mort kistis … is ane wark of necessitie quhen they hed nane reddie to serue the deid
1658 Boyd Fam. P. No. 236 (27 Feb.).
Fyftein plattis of Scottis pewder that servit the house
(2) 1590 Burntisland B. Ct. 13 Nov.
The said [ferry] boitt … beand reddie … to serwe passingeris owr the watter
1598 Aberd. B. Rec. II 172.
A gryter quantete of muschellis nor may serue thame for beatt
(3) 1425 Soc. Ant. II 387.
Sa bath the gauyle on the south syde and on the north syde sal serf thame bath to byg til

b. With double object: To constitute the supply of, be the source of (some requisite). a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlviii 24.
The violet [sc. cloth] … Sall serve ȝow hosing for a ȝeir

c. To supply a need as a material, component or accessory of (a thing); to supply an essential material or requisite for (a process).(1) 1561 Inv. Q. Mary 35.
Ten single blankettis quhilkis seruit the beddis of the brodinsters
1583 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 314.
Off quhyt bandis … to serve twelf windois … fourtie awcht pairis
1611 Macgibbon & Ross V 6.
Ane kirnall turnpyik … to serwe the haill heiche chalmers and wairdroip
1636 Sutherland Bk. II 168.
Faill not send me … sillwer leas and buttons to serw it [sc. a riding coat]
(2) 1591 Haigh Mining P. ? 20 Oct.
Ther is wod enewgth heir to be gottine to serwe it [sc. smelting]

d. To stand for as a symbol, to represent, symbolise. c1616 Hume Orthog. 13.
This symbol can be no reason serve that sound, nor nane of that kynd

e. To serve the time, to give merely the time required by an action or ceremony, without giving any substance to the action, etc. 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 540.
Euin as the preistis thair matynis said To serue the tyme ane stra syne laid Schir Celebrasti speid ȝow sone And sa Goddis seruice thay haue done; Sic hyreling belly goddis … Vnto this ordour will consent And for thair belly be content

f. To serve the or one's turn, to meet adequately the requirements of a particular occasion. 1579 Reg. Privy S. VII 330/2.
The proveist, bailleis [etc.] … seing the same [sc. taxes] is nocht abill to serve the turne, thairfoir [etc.]
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX 107.
Alledging that the litler effect that folloue the vordis can not serve his tourne
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 864.
It is gude geir that serves the turne
1650 Glasgow Wrights Acts 11.
[Sey masters] sall appoynt him no longer tyme for the perfytting of the sey nor so much as may serve the turne
1674 Vernon Freemasonry in Roxburghshire 62.
& if he can have none of them [sc. apprentices] he may take as many as will serve his turne

21. a. intr. Of weather: To be favourable or suitable (also, to a particular undertaking). Also (once) tr. const. infin.: To enable (a ship) (to do something).(1) 1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 12.
Gif weddir serve, and we haif rest and pece
1571 Inverness Rec. I 198.
To refound content pay and delywer … ane keill of ane boit … to be payt as wynd and weddyr seruis
1589 Bk. Carlaverock I 283.
We have taken present purpose to passe to Norroway … wher, God willinge, our tarrye shall be very short, winde and weather servinge
(2) 1568 Reg. Privy C. I 640.
Capitane David Moncur sall depart towart Denmark … sa sone as wind and weddir will serve to that effect
tr. 1558 Admir. Ct. Bk. (St. S.) 88.
As wynd and wedder servit ony schippis to cum furth of Flanderis

b. As, quhen, etc. laser, time, etc. may serve, etc., opertunitie, etc. serwant, etc., as leisure, time, opportunity, etc. permits or suits; sa far as his conscience serwit (him), insofar as (his) conscience would permit (him) (not to do something). 1552 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I App. xciii.
We … sall … be reddye … to resist the invasioun of thame … as occasioun may serve
1562-3 Winȝet II 8/25.
Gif euery persoun in ilk state sal leue worthelie, as occasioun seruise
c1570 Warrender P. MS 141.
Your l. will appoint ane day … as ȝour l. laser may best serve
a1578 Pitsc. I 45/6.
Then at the last money of the earleis freindis being [skailed] of the toune and opertunitie serwant [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 218/12.
Bot ȝeit this godlie man durst not wtter his mynd to the king sa far as his conscience serwit him because the king was ȝoung and [ … haid no constancie] to keip consall or secreit thocht albeit it be for thair awin proffitt
1580 Conf. Faith in Facs. Nat. MSS III lxx.
Afterward, when tyme may serue, to be come open ennemeis and persecutoris
c1590 Fowler II 195/4.
The daies ensewing, so long as leasure might serue, was bestowed by the ambassadors, in banketting
1596 Dalr. I 109/6.
For thay, as tyme seruet, war than promouet to the cheif charges of the realme
1633 Elgin Rec. II 225. 1691 Cullen Kirk S. 11 Jan.
The minister intimat that this week he was to beginne the examinations and to continvw the samen health serving

c. As (one's) memorie serves (him), as far as (one) can remember. 1634 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 398.
Since the twalt day of Marche last as his memorie serwes him the said principall did visit the scoollis [etc.]

22. tr. and intr. To suffice (a person or his needs), to be adequate (to do or be something).(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 206/24.
Few wordis may serve the wyis
a1500 Seven S. 1136.
Mycht nocht serf thé my madinhed My ȝoung body to fald and fang
a1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlviii 77.
Syne with the sleik stanis that servis for the nanis Thay rais the pyle
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 423/147.
Nocht awales warldlie welthis or wit Gif sic had serwid, for suithe it had nocht sliddin
a1578 Pitsc. I 19/21.
Foirdwart lat sie sua ȝe sall haue subiect gif our hairtis serwe ws, all that would have arrogantly oppressit ȝou
1583 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 171.
Becaus ane of the said candillis was brokin & spylt ane vther behuis to be had quhar ane sould haif scherwit
1655 Cramond Ch. Speymouth 20.
To agree with some lymers in Strylay for as much lyme as would serwe
(b) 15.. Wyf Awcht. 40.
Scho put alsmekle in hir lap As micht haif serd thame baith at nwne
(2) a1500 Seven S. 1136 (see (1) above). 1492 Reg. Episc. Morav. 249.
Thai sall not … solisit ony of the saidis assisouris wthirwais than sal serf tham to deliver on thar athis and conscience in the premissis
1562-3 Winȝet I 8/10.
Of the schuiting of honeste men fra thair native roumes … tyme seruis not to schaw
a1578 Pitsc. I 28/5.
Ane man of hiche spreit … nocht willing to seit with so mony wrangis as he had gottin onrewengit gif his power wald serue thairto
1596 Dalr. I 25/9.
Sa mony stickis as will serue … to be fyre to that hail familie … the space of ane ȝeir

IV. 23. a. passive. Of a brieve: To be taken through the procedure known as ‘serving’ or ‘service of brieves’ (Serving vbl. n. 3 a, Service n. 14).This procedure consisted of the summoning of an assise of inquest by the sheriff or other judge to whom the brieve is directed, and the investigation of the claim and delivery of its findings by the assise. Subsequent procedure differed as between ‘retourable’ brieves (e.g. of mortancestry) and ‘non-retourable’ brieves (e.g. of terce). In the case of the former, the findings were ‘retoured’ to chancery (Retour v. 6), of the latter the judge added his authority to that of the inquest. For further information see e.g. Balfour Pract. 418-442, Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve.(1) 1478 Acta Aud. 59/2.
Anent the seruing of a breue of terce … the said James Lord Hamiltoun nocht being lauchfully warnit to his defens & seruit vteuth the schire [etc.]
1478 Acta Conc. I 22/1.
And gif it plesis the lard of Vgston to tak new brevis & ger thaim be proclamit & our souuerain lorde lauchfully warnit thar of justice salbe ministerit to him & the said breifis to be seruit in Edinburgh
1488 Acts II 208/1.
It may be obiect that thar faderis and antecessouris deit nocht at the faith and peis of the king for the quhilkis the said breiffe wil noch be full seruit
(2) 1471 Acta Aud. 14/2.
That Breif of Inquest … seruit before Patric Cleland seref deput of Lanark, is vnlachfully & ordurly seruit
1497 Acta Conc. II 74.
The sade Robert, withowt commissione … or autorite, made the sade breif to be servit before him, … thocht the sade schiref sade that he had sufficient commissione to serf the sade breif
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
But now the samin [sc. breve] is served before the schireffe, stewart, baillie, or onie vther judge hauand power and jurisdiction
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
Concerning the giuing of saising conforme to brieues serued and retoured before judges commissioners
(3) 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
The clerke of the chancellarie vpon the brieue serued be an commission sall direct the precept of saising to [etc.]
(4) c1575 Balfour Pract. 421.
That … our soverane lord's lieges ar mony wayis troublit … in thair landis and heritage be brevis of inquest servit favourablie and be ignorant persounis
(5) 1516 Reg. Privy S. I 422/2.
Johne dwellis within Carrik nocht nere the landis that the breif foresaid was servit of
(6) 1510 Stirlings of Keir 295.
That the breif of ydeotry quhilk is to be led on the said Thomas … be full seruit apoun him

b. active. Of the judge: To act upon (a brieve) in this way. 1431 Liber Melros II 522.
I [Patrick Dunbar, Lord of Beill] sittand in jugement in the soilȝe off Halsyngton within the schirradome of Berwic … the qwilk brefe of inqueste … I gert procede and it seruyt and agayne retournit to the kyngis chapell
1490–1 Acta Conc. I 180/2.
Hary Naper serref deput … seruit thaim [sc. brieves] be ane inquest of personis of the serrefdoume of Edinburghe
1497 Acta Conc. II 74 (see (2) above). 1523 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II 136.
That he couth nocht serf the said breif nor yit the said Johne as air to his eme to ane annuell rent of xl s.

24. Of an inquest, also of the judge: To find (a person) (as) heir (to another, of or in(to) certain heritage); also, to find (a widow) entitled to her terce.Doing so by formal deliverance, following the procedure of sense 23.Also, to find (a person) blanch = heir to a blanchferme holding.Also, to serve (the person) of his breif (of the heritage).Also, to serve and retour. (Retour v. 8).(1) 1494 Acta Aud. 205/1.
Alexander Mowat … has denyit that euer he seruit Henry Dowglas as are to … Jonet of Fentoun of the ferde parte of the landis
1566 Inverness Rec. I 137.
The inqueist foirsaid hes seruit Patrik Grant, son and ayr to wmquhill Johne Grant of Culcabok, in tuay particattis of land
c1575 Balfour Pract. 420.
Be the quhilk breve of tailȝie ane may be servit not onlie as air of tailȝie bot alswa ane air may be servit as air mail
c1575 Balfour Pract. 430.
Gif ony man raisis ane breve to be servit air to ony landis that payis ferm victual [etc.] … the persounis of inquest may not be compellit to tak inquisitioun of the said ȝeirlie rental
1576 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 25.
Jonat Carsane desyrit ane act … to serwe hir as narrast air of lyne
1586 Exch. R. XXI 430.
I haif sene quhair he is servit and retourit as oye and air to the said umquhile James
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v.
Breve de morte antecessoris … It is the maist necessar … brieue or inquisition that is vsed be the lieges of this realme, quhairby ane desiris to be served and retoured, as narrest and lauchful aire to his … predicessour
1649 Lamont Diary 9.
The Earle of Laderdaile was serued aire to his father
1659 House Gordon II 130. 1674 Rothesay B. Rec. 322.
Geir … perteining to the said Jonet be … the deceiss of the said wmquhill John Ker her guidsir and as aire of lyne served to him
(b) 1570 Lanark B. Rec. 48.
The inquest … refuisset to sarve him air withouit they saw him personly present
(2) 1505–6 Reg. Privy S. I 174/2.
The inqueist that servit hym of his breif of the said vi merkis worth of land
1527 Bk. Dunvegan I 68.
He hes the thrie part of the lands of Glenelg … perteining to him in heritage and is servit thairof be oure breves
1533 Treas. Acc. VI 138.
Ane inquest that servit Richert, umquhile lord Innermeith, of … the landis of Innermeith
1558 Inverness Rec. I 20.
Johne Stuert is seruit nerrest and lauchfull ayr to his faydyr, and nocht in to na land be resson he producit na ewidentis
1567 Dysart Rec. 23.
Gelis Forbes … oblyst hir [etc.] … to mak herselfe be lawfully servit in the croft as nairest … air to hir umqhile father
1600 Paisley B. Rec. 233.
Consenting that the saids airis portiounars be servit and seasit thairin
(3) 1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 114.
Master Francis allegit thair was sufficient producit to the effect the said Master Georg suld be serefit as said is
c1575 Balfour Pract. 425.
Thay aucht and sould decern … him to be ordourlie servit be brevis of inquest raisit furth of the chancellarie
1609 Inverurie B. Ct. 13 Jan.
His curatour … hes causit call elect & cheis ane conding & on spent assyis to serwe the said pupill
(4) 1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 113.
The said inquest mycht nocht seref the said Master Georg blanscht efter tenor of his clayme
(5) 1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 44.
The said Jonet to be servit and have the ters of all the said landis
1523 Crawford Mun. Invent. I 46 (5 Feb.).
[Summons at the instance of Marion Countess of Crawford against tenants for payment of the mails … of the terce lands] … sa far as schow is seruit and kennit to
c1575 Balfour Pract. 457.
Ane lady beand servit to hir tierce, be sone and schadow, and kend and enterit thairto, hir tierce is understuid to be seperat and dividit fra the twa part
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 169.
Albeit she had the tearce be contention of partie, and wes never seruit nor kent to a tearce

b. Also absol. or intr. Of the inquest: To reach a finding in the service of a brieve.Also, to do so negative (= against), affirmative (= for) the claimant. 1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 114.
The said inquest may nocht seref of tenent and tenandre conform to the said clayme becaus [etc.] … and thai man seref gif thai serefit conform to the evidentis producit protestand [etc.]
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
Bot gif the assise delivers & servis negatiue as said is or affirmatiue in favours of the persewer against the defender … this their answere to al … the pointes of the brieue … is sent back … to the chancellarie

c. tr. To deliver (a certain finding) in the service of a brieve. c1575 Balfour Pract. 431.
Gif the persounis of inquest serve and retour the landis haldin of the king simpliciter, thay beand haldin [etc.]

d. To serve oneself (as) air, to obtene oneself servit (heir), to have oneself entered heir to an inheritance by means of this procedure. Also fig. 1557 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson 206b.
That … the said George sall in all possibill haist impetrat and rais brevis … to serue him as … lauchtfull air … of all and haill fyftene husband landis of the toun … of Ormistoun
1582–3 Reg. Privy C. III 558.
He sall entir and obtene himself servit air as use is within the space of thrie termes
c1627 Bk. Carlaverock II 11.
He could not obteine himselffe serveit, retourit and seisit in his haill landis and vtheris foirsaidis
fig. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1664) 54.
O that he would … serve himself heir to the poor mean portion I have

25. To raise (a writ of lawburrows (Law-borowis n.)) against one. 1698 Maxwell Mem. II 347.
After lawburrowes served against them

26. To make legal or official delivery of (an edict). 1650 Cramond Ch. Aberdour 23.
Mr. John Jamieson … to cause serve ane edict at the Kirk of Aberdour to summon the parochiners … to compear

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