serve out

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serve out

  1. (transitive, tennis) To win a set, or by extension a match, by holding serve (winning a game as the server).
    • 2011 June 28, Piers Newbery, “Wimbledon 2011: Sabine Lisicki beats Marion Bartoli”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      She held her nerve after failing to serve out the match at the first attempt, seeing three match points slip by in a nervous service game at 6-4 5-4 and recovering from losing the tie-break to dominate the decider.
  2. (transitive) To serve the whole of some period.
    The politician did not serve out his term.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To pay back; to have one's revenge on.
    • 1863, Charles Kingsley, The Water-Babies
      'Yar!' said she, 'you little meddlesome wretch, I have you now! I will serve you out for telling the salmon where I was!'