Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin subservire.


subserve (third-person singular simple present subserves, present participle subserving, simple past and past participle subserved)

  1. To serve to promote (an end); to be useful to.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      ' [] Human laws we respect—ha, ha!—you and I, because they subserve our convenience, and just so long. When they tend to our destruction, 'tis, of course, another thing.'
    • 1840, Abel Upshur, A Brief Enquiry into the Nature and Character of our Federal Government, Campbell, page 69:
      Their principles will cease to be dear to them, whenever they shall cease to subserve the purposes of good order.
  2. To assist in carrying out.
    • 1665, Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica
      'Tis a greater credit to know the ways of captivating Nature, and making her subserve our purposes, than to have learnt all the intrigues of policy.

Related terms[edit]