noun, often attributive
ca·​fé | \ ka-ˈfā How to pronounce café (audio) , kə-\
variants: or less commonly cafe

Definition of café

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually small and informal establishment serving various refreshments (such as coffee) broadly : restaurant
2 : barroom
\ ka-ˈfā How to pronounce CAFE (audio) \

Definition of CAFE (Entry 2 of 2)

corporate average fuel economy

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of café in a Sentence


the café presents nationally known jazz performers in an intimate setting a speakeasy that became a fashionable café with the repeal of prohibition

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She and Duane were sitting on the dock in front of their cafe, chatting as water lapped against the pier and birds pecked at crushed oyster crackers at their feet. Zoe Greenberg,, "She’s the only kid on the island. And she’s graduating," 14 June 2019 Media in the town are currently far more dispersed than when the focal point was the very specific setting of the Lindo Wing building with its one cafe teeming with reporters charging their phones and laptops. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Royal Baby Watch: Windsor—and the World—Holds Its Breath," 4 May 2019 Bare bones taco posts give way to cafes and craft beer bars. Berenice Bautista, The Seattle Times, "Mexico City neighborhood celebrates “Roma” nominations," 22 Jan. 2019 Hourly employees in cafes and roasting facilities are encouraged to talk to their managers to find a time to go vote. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Stores like Levi’s and North Face are giving their workers time to vote," 2 Nov. 2018 The restaurant is run by Bon Appetit, a food-service company that, according to its website, operates more than 1,000 cafes in 33 states and is headquartered in Palo Alto. Michael Bauer,, "Stem Kitchen and Garden in Mission Bay: Go before it’s ‘discovered’," 12 July 2018 In the picturesque center of Sant Joan de les Abadesses, where there is a 9th-century monastery, every cafe and bar offered a special festival menu for five euros or less. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Clownia: Global Bands Come Together in Catalonia for a Summer Feel-Better Festival," 5 July 2018 Light pours into the warm, welcoming cafe and its many tables; confections go fast. Sheryl Julian,, "The popular bakery-cafe Honeycomb in Hamilton celebrates its first year," 2 July 2018 Slowpokes plans to open a cafe and bar at Kirby Grove, 2925 Richmond. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Retail wrap: 5 restaurant chains opening new spots in greater Houston," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'café.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of café


1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for café


French café coffee, café, from Turkish kahve — more at coffee

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about café

Statistics for café

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for café

The first known use of café was in 1802

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for café



English Language Learners Definition of café

: a small restaurant where you can get simple meals and drinks (such as coffee)


variants: also cafe \ ka-​ˈfā , kə-​ \

Kids Definition of café

: a small restaurant serving usually simple meals

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on café

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with café

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for café

Spanish Central: Translation of café

Comments on café

What made you want to look up café? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!