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

Noun 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 German composer spent the final months of his life in Venice—and plenty of that time at his favorite cafe: Florian. Tara Isabella Burton, WSJ, "World Wars Couldn’t Stop Venice’s Caffe Florian. Covid Did.," 25 Feb. 2021 My favorite is this simple audio of 3 hours in a Paris cafe. Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time, "The Science of Awe and the Mars Perseverance Rover," 21 Feb. 2021 Get a slice in the cafe with brandy caramel and vanilla cream ($8) or take a big batch home. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week," 12 Feb. 2021 Starbucks has been working to expand its diversity initiatives since two Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia cafe in 2018, dealing a blow to its long-touted commitment to social justice. Edward Ludlow,, "Starbucks Calls for Boosting Small Businesses, Vaccine Rollout," 12 Jan. 2021 An unattended backpack was reported taken from a chair in a cafe between 3:15-3:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the 700 block of Church Street. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "Blotter: Stolen packages, electronics and bicycles in Evanston," 15 Dec. 2020 And sitting to Petrova’s left in a roadside cafe, Elena Ponkratova, a local journalist, nodded in agreement. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, "Demographic in Russia," 1 Dec. 2020 So many of us chafe right now at the inability because of pandemic restrictions to eat inside a restaurant or sip a coffee in a cafe or go browse the shelves of a public library. Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times, "Who has it harder than the homeless when the pandemic closes indoor spaces?," 27 Nov. 2020 Families can also visit the petting barn, shop in the general store and grab a bite in the cafe. Dallas News, "Autumn at the Arboretum kicks off fall fun this weekend," 18 Sep. 2020

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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Learn More about café

Statistics for café

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Café.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

More from Merriam-Webster on café

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for café

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