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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Synonyms for café

Synonyms: Noun

diner, eatery, grill, restaurant

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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

Even free haircuts are being given away on plastic chairs under a tent and a local cafe brought in an espresso and cappuccino machine to make fresh coffee. Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "Thai navy SEAL commander: 'Limited amount of time' left to rescue trapped soccer team," 6 July 2018 The lead content found in water at the 11 schools ranged from 15.4 parts per billion in water from a cafe sink at Boulder Oak to 50 parts per billion in water from a sink in the kitchen at Reidy Creek Elementary, according to the data. Lauryn Schroeder,, "Does your school have lead in its drinking water?," 5 July 2018 This year's tournament was the first in which the Cafe Rits team – named after a cafe in the Ritsona refugee camp in Greece – have competed. Cormac O'brien, The Christian Science Monitor, "Refugees in Ireland find their footing with soccer tournament," 5 July 2018 All things cereal is the theme of Moo Moo Cereal Milk Bar, a seasonal cafe opening Thursday, July 5 at 4751 West Chester Pike in the Edgmont Shopping Center in Newtown Square, next to the new P.J. Whelihan’s. Michael Klein,, "Cereal and ice cream, together at Moo Moo Cereal Milk Bar," 5 July 2018 Shangri La Ranch features a pool, a game room with pool tables, clubhouse, volleyball, tennis and bocce ball courts, and a cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Sun's out, buns out: Nude Recreation Week, International Skinny Dip Day returns," 5 July 2018 Photo by Simon Blackley / Flickr Jason Meinhardt’s restaurant The Red Hen, a small cafe in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, closed almost a decade ago. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Red Hen restaurants around the world are getting blamed for kicking out Sarah Sanders," 26 June 2018 Mi Cocinita Restaurant, a quirky backyard cafe behind Virgie Martinez's girlhood home in south Fort Worth, is officially out of business after 50 years and two generations of handmade tamales and enchilada platters. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "A life of love and tamales: Virgie Martinez retires from backyard landmark Mi Cocinita," 26 June 2018 The dark wood display, cobbled together furniture, and pale hues evoke both your parent’s basement and a stylish cafe in Tokyo’s old Asakusa neighborhood. Bon Appetit, "Burrow," 25 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

5 Nov 2018

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

See 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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