1

cafeteria

noun caf·e·te·ria \ ˌka-fə-ˈtir-ē-ə \

Definition of cafeteria

1 :a restaurant in which the customers serve themselves or are served at a counter and take the food to tables to eat
2 :lunchroom 2

Recent Examples of cafeteria from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cafeteria.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of cafeteria

American Spanish cafetería coffeehouse, from cafetera coffee maker, from French cafetière, from café


2

cafeteria

adjective

Definition of cafeteria

:providing a selection from which a choice may be made
  • cafeteria benefit plan
  • a cafeteria curriculum

First Known Use of cafeteria

1908


CAFETERIA Defined for English Language Learners

cafeteria

noun

Definition of cafeteria for English Language Learners

  • : a place (such as a restaurant or a room in a school) where people get food at a counter and carry it to a table for eating


CAFETERIA Defined for Kids

cafeteria

noun caf·e·te·ria \ ˌka-fə-ˈtir-ē-ə \

Definition of cafeteria for Students

:a place where people get food at a counter and carry it to a table for eating
  • a school cafeteria


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cafeteria? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!