from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being a retail commercial enterprise or a service in which the customers or users help themselves: a self-service market; a self-service elevator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the practice of serving oneself, usually when purchasing items
  • adj. Describing an establishment where the customer is not waited on.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or denoting an establishment (a restaurant or shop etc.) where customers serve themselves
  • n. the practice of serving yourself (as in a grocery or cafeteria)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • IVR telephone systems are part of the broader segment of the customer service industry called self-service, which includes any kind of customer help besides live human assistance.

    Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us

  • Large supermarket stores: at least 1,500 sq. meters of floor space with at least 50 percent of sales classified as "self-service."

  • Bike sharing systems are automated, self-service bicycle rental systems that allow people to rent bikes, usually for a short period of time.

    Jack Bog's Blog: August 2009 Archives

  • USA Technologies Inc., which provides payment systems for vending machines and other self-service kiosks, has stopped accepting MasterCard debit cards as a result of the law.

    Debit-Fee Cap Has Nasty Side Effect

  • Beyond low-cost copycats, the biggest challenge facing Brannock today is that many people buy shoes on the Internet or in self-service stores where getting fitted by an expert isn't an option.

    Maker of Foot Measurer Tries to Stop Other Shoe From Dropping

  • As the program continued, Google opened up AdSense on June 21 to long-tail businesses such as blogs and small-business websites, using a self-service model.

    In the Plex

  • Jeff Dean pitched in to merge Phil with the AdWords technology, while another team tried to build all of this into a complete self-service system for advertisers.

    In the Plex

  • If you made the system self-service, you could handle thousands of small advertisers, and the overhead would be so low that customers could buy ads very cheaply.

    In the Plex

  • Even then, Page and Brin believed in a self-service system that worked in scale, serving vast populations.

    In the Plex

  • Google built a self-service system that allowed it to accommodate hundreds of thousands of advertisers.

    In the Plex


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