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service (services)

Definition of Service

(noun) Action or work by an individual or group that is bought, sold, or traded to satisfy the needs or wants of another individual or group.

Examples of Service

  • entertainment industry
  • health care industry

Service Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈsərvəs/
    • British English
      • /ˈsəːvɪs/
  • Syllabification: (ser·vice)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: services
  • In economic matters, the term “service” is typically pluralized (services) and coupled with “goods” and written as “goods and services“.

Related Quotations

Additional Information

Related Terms


McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Smith, Murray. 2008. “credentialism.” Pp. 166–67 in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed., edited by W. Darity. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Works Consulted

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Service

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “service.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 21, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/service/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

service. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/service/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “service.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 21, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/service/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“service.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 21 Sep. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/service/>.