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
\ 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 Proud faith in human ingenuity won't bring back my corner cafe. Star Tribune, "LILEKS: The Wonder Chicken, and other good news," 24 Dec. 2020 His sidewalk cafe on 14th Street NW consists of a few wobbly, portable tables; his customers are regulars and passersby who can’t resist the smell. Washington Post, "Three prophets who showed me the beauty of America — away from Capitol Hill," 24 Dec. 2020 Before the pandemic, his all-day cafe and bar had plenty of business clients. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, ""Three-martini lunch" tax break draws outrage. It also may fall short for restaurants.," 22 Dec. 2020 Actual change — a bone-deep shift that will last beyond a single person’s tenure at her cafe — will require more than demanding accountability on a platform primarily oriented toward entertainment. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "The restaurant equity revolution will not be Instagrammed," 21 Dec. 2020 Starting Sunday, Reitz said the cafe will be open for takeout only through Jan. 4. Jack Durschlag, Fox News, "Nearly 40 Pennsylvania restaurants ordered shut for defying governor's coronavirus order," 25 Dec. 2020 The cafe, which offers takeout and outdoor seating, helped bring in more revenue. Washington Post, "D.C. to ban indoor dining, close museums, restrict libraries to curbside," 19 Dec. 2020 During the dark Nordic winter, the cafe, with its cozy ambiance and convenient location near a rail station, is normally a prime spot for a traditional Swedish fika — a coffee meet-up. Nils Adler, Los Angeles Times, "Sweden took pride in its light-touch approach to the pandemic. Now it’s reconsidering," 10 Dec. 2020 Future phases will finish the promenade, as well as introduce a cafe, pier, fountain, play area and a number of other improvements. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Harbor Park, a $47.5M coastal attraction in Chula Vista, OK’d by port," 9 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for café

Time Traveler

The first known use of café was in 1802

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Statistics for café

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Café.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for café


How to pronounce CAFE (audio)

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

Comments on café

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