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

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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

Last week, Courtney got an 8 p.m. text from the frantic owner of a local cafe who heard rumors that O’Rourke planned to hold a campaign event at her business the next day. Alexandra Jaffe, The Seattle Times, "O’Rourke’s casual style to be tested by national campaign," 25 Mar. 2019 Today, her art lines the walls of the cafe for patrons to buy. Libby Solomon,, "'No one can stop me': Afghan artist Sughra Hussainy on women's rights and change through art," 3 July 2018 Within the last year, Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre went from painting bathrooms in a hipster coffee shop, the exterior of a gritty local bar and a school bus outside of a vegan cafe to a playground for toddlers., "Young At Art opens new early childhood playground," 3 July 2018 The owners of a Glen Ellyn cafe planned to open a second location in downtown Hinsdale, but the deal apparently has fallen through. Kimberly Fornek,, "Blackberry Market proposal in Hinsdale not moving forward," 2 July 2018 On a recent afternoon, the ring tone cut through the din of a cafe in Jodhpur’s old city, a maze of arched windows and carved doorways gently moldering in the dust and heat. Author: Shashank Bengali, Anchorage Daily News, "In India, ‘child marriage is like a disease’," 24 June 2018 Fans of the cafe can only cross their fingers and hope. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The Iowa Cafe in Mesa has closed after 33 years. But will it return?," 22 June 2018 Rothberg, a scientist and serial entrepreneur, sent them out of the cafe, named Pa’s Place after his chemical engineer father, Henry, who’d built a multimillion dollar company of his own in nearby Bethany. Rebecca Lurye,, "Starting With Ultrasound, An Innovation Empire Is Growing In Guilford," 15 Apr. 2018 Conversion of cafes will require franchisee, landlord approval Move comes as Canada poised to legalize recreational pot Canada’s second-largest coffee retailer is getting into the weed business., "Second Cup Is Getting Into the Marijuana Business," 12 Apr. 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

23 Apr 2019

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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).


something valued as if it were money

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