According to Dictionary.com, there are a significant number of definitions for this one word. For the sake of brevity, we’ll look exclusively at its noun form.
“Service [ sur-vis ]
an act of helpful activity; help; aid.
the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.
the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.
the organized system of apparatus, appliances, employees, etc., for supplying some accommodation required by the public.
the supplying or a supplier of public communication and transportation.
the performance of duties or the duties performed as or by a waiter or servant; occupation or employment as a waiter or servant.
employment in any duties or work for a person, organization, government, etc.
a department of public employment, an administrative division of a government, or the body of public servants in it.
the duty or work of public servants.
the serving of a sovereign, state, or government in some official capacity.
Military. a. the armed forces. b. a branch of the armed forces, as the army or navy.
Ordnance. the actions required in loading and firing a cannon.
Often services. the performance of any duties or work for another; helpful or professional activity.
something made or done by a commercial organization for the public benefit and without regard to direct profit.
Also called divine service. public religious worship according to prescribed form and order.
a ritual or form prescribed for public worship or for some particular occasion.
the serving of God by obedience, piety, etc.
a musical setting of the sung portions of a liturgy.
a set of dishes, utensils, etc., for general table use or for a particular use.
Law. the serving of a process or writ upon a person.
Nautical. tarred spun yarn or other small stuff for covering the exterior of a rope.
the mating of a female animal with the male.”
Synonyms for Service
The History of the Word
As a noun, the origin of the word service dates back to the 1100’s, as a “celebration of public worship.” It is derived from the Old French servise, which in turn was derived from the Latin servitium, both of which mean “servitude or slavery.”
When it comes to the modern meaning of the “act of serving or occupation as an attendant,” origins can be found in the 1200’s.
The additional meaning, “state of being bound to take on tasks for someone,” comes from the mid-thirteenth century.
When to Use the Abbreviation
These abbreviations should not appear in common prose. They are mostly used in headlines or titles that need brevity, as well as within communication between professionals with shared jargon, e.g. in digital industries, utilities, and other technical fields. At times, these abbreviations can be used in notes, memos, or shorthand. If you are writing an academic paper, opt for the full word instead. All svc. and ser. can be used interchangeably to abbreviate service, but svc. is the more common abbreviation. Svcs. should be used when abbreviating services.
Examples of the Word and Abbreviation in Context
The government is responsible for many public services.
The Human Resources Department doesn’t provide very many services for employees in need.
I wasn’t expecting a 15% service fee with my purchase.
It was the end of the fiscal year, and I couldn’t be happier. I had done my service for this company and was ready to retire.
I provide tech services for my company.
I looked up my identification number to find out exactly what my job title would be. The result read, “Public Svcs., Asst. Nurse.”
“It would be my pleasure to provide my unique and very detailed services,” said the private investigator.
Note: Nancy needs a ride to religious svcs. on Tues. and Sun.
Remember to play the public service announcement (PSA) before beginning your radio show.
Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.