noun, often attributive
ca·​fé | \ ka-ˈfā , 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 \

Definition of CAFE (Entry 2 of 2)

corporate average fuel economy

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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

Coupled with the long battery life, this is a phone designed to be taken on multi-day hikes or used on construction sites rather than at an Instagram-friendly cafe. Sam Byford, The Verge, "This tank of a phone has lasted me a week on one charge," 18 Dec. 2018 In one case, an employee of the country's domestic intelligence agency was inside an internet cafe when the owner was gunned down, but claimed not to have seen or heard anything untoward. Fox News, "As German neo-Nazi trial ends, families still seek answers," 10 July 2018 There is also a variety of restaurants and cafes in the Time Warner Center building. Lauren Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "Frequently Asked Questions About Good Housekeeping Institute Tours," 4 Oct. 2018 Between 2004 and 2018, in fact, the community established more than a dozen small businesses — grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and money transfer shops — along with two main nonprofit organizations. Fox News, "Somali immigrants find growing acceptance in Minnesota," 25 Aug. 2018 San Luis Obispo requires single-use straws only be provided in restaurants, bars and cafes when customers ask for them. Anchorage Daily News, "Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars," 3 July 2018 San Luis Obispo requires single-use straws only be provided in restaurants, bars and cafes when customers ask for them. NBC News, "Seattle plastic straw ban goes into effect in effort to reduce marine pollution," 2 July 2018 San Luis Obispo requires single-use straws only be provided in restaurants, bars and cafes when customers ask for them. CBS News, "Seattle becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic utensils and straws," 2 July 2018 Bars and cafes are open late and the sun essentially never goes down, so the streets are packed at all hours and the momentum of the tournament doesn’t seem to stop. Brian Straus,, "The World Cup of Chaos: Looking Back on a Group Stage for the Ages," 29 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.

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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

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Statistics for café

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for café

The first known use of café was in 1802

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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

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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).


very full or close together

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