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

  • n. A restaurant in which the customers are served at a counter and carry their meals on trays to tables.
  • n. A dining area, as at a school or office building, where meals may be purchased or brought from home and eaten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A restaurant in which customers select their food at a counter then carry it on a tray to a table to eat
  • n. A dining area in an institution where meals may be purchased (as above) or brought in from elsewhere

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A restaurant or café at which the patrons serve themselves with food kept at a counter, typically paying a cashier at the end of the counter and taking the food to tables to eat.
  • n. a room within a building functioning in the same manner as a cafeteria{1}. In certain organizations, as schools, the food may be provided gratis.

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

  • n. a restaurant where you serve yourself and pay a cashier


Spanish cafetería, coffee shop, cafeteria, from café, coffee, from Ottoman Turkish qahveh; see coffee.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(Mid 19th or 20th century) American Spanish cafetería, coffeehouse, from cafetera, coffee maker, from French cafetière, from café, from Ottoman Turkish qahveh, from Arabic qahwa (Wiktionary)



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