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 Greek brothers who have operated Melios Bros Char Bar for nearly 50 years are finally closing their little blue cafe on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "After years of rumors that Char Bar in Dallas is closing, it finally is," 16 Aug. 2019 Samara Arther, 18, attends Winters Mill High School and spent her summer working for the Salvation Army and made sure meals were prepared in their cafe. Akira Kyles,, "The Arc in Carroll County honors record-breaking graduating class," 8 Aug. 2019 Coffee Day went public in 2015, nearly two decades after opening its first cafe in Bengaluru, selling shares at 328 rupees apiece. Fortune, "Founder of India’s Biggest Coffee Chain Is Confirmed Dead After Going Missing," 31 July 2019 In 2017, the cafe’s owner was caught bringing in bags of Popeyes chicken and serving it as her own. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "For the first time in 47 years, Popeyes restaurants will put this on the menu," 8 Aug. 2019 In 2017, the cafe’s owner was caught bringing in bags of Popeyes chicken and serving it as her own. Linda Zavoral, The Denver Post, "For the first time in 47 years, Popeyes restaurants will put this on the menu," 8 Aug. 2019 While San Francisco’s new waste law will already change how restaurants and cafes handle plastic, chefs around the Bay Area are looking to push their environmental and climate-change bona fides further. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: The housing development killed with one vote," 22 July 2019 New rules include fines for urinating in public, wearing indecent clothing, and eating in public places other than restaurants and cafes. Palko Karasz,, "Morning coffee results in a $1,000 fine and expulsion from Venice," 20 July 2019 Via del Corso, the town's main road, is a walking mall lined with shops, restaurants and hip cafes. John Henderson,, "Matera, from Italy's national disgrace to European Cultural Capital," 13 July 2019

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

27 Aug 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

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 make a temporary encampment

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