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

The mission of this cafe is to understand the needs of its community and train 16- to 24-year-olds who are unemployed, out of school and lack a high school diploma. Ina Pinkney,, "Celebrating 5 years of Ina’s column with 3 tasty new breakfast spots," 1 July 2019 But sitting in the shade of a chaotic outdoor cafe Friday, Ahmed Ali, 58, was worried. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "In Baghdad, Iraqis fear that U.S.-Iranian hostilities will play out on local soil," 14 June 2019 In Colombia’s more traditional south, there was a mixed reaction to the rise of these cafes. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "The trendiness of avocados has hit Colombia, and it's confusing locals," 21 June 2018 Woops! was featured in Glamour as one of the coolest cafes in New York and was ranked by Fitt as one of the best coffee shops in the city. NBC News, "How Woops! Macarons became a business by accident," 20 June 2018 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

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

16 Jul 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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