cafeteria

noun
caf·​e·​te·​ria | \ˌka-fə-ˈtir-ē-ə \

Definition of cafeteria 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

cafeteria

adjective

Definition of cafeteria (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of cafeteria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During the show we're being rolled in on cafeteria tables, and the scene is so fun. Dan Shinaberry, Teen Vogue, "Mean Girls on Broadway Stars Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell's Dressing Room Tour," 2 June 2018 The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Matt Sedensky, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Senior center bullies: "It's like `Mean Girls,' but everyone is 80”," 14 May 2018 The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Matt Sedensky, USA TODAY, "'It’s like ‘Mean Girls,’ but everyone is 80': How nursing homes deal with bullies," 12 May 2018 The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Matt Sedensky, Fox News, "Senior centers grapple with bullying issues," 12 May 2018 The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Washington Post, "A surprising bullying battleground: Senior centers," 12 May 2018 Milk cartons litter the cafeteria table along with packets of sunflower seeds, yogurt and trays of chicken and rice. Dana Lee, Indianapolis Star, "RightFit uses tutoring, meals and fitness to help Indianapolis kids," 27 Feb. 2018 Babineau told him the Chevy belonged to Debra Davis, a cafeteria worker beloved by students for her sunny, outgoing personality. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "When Hoover High cafeteria worker's story goes viral, her 'other life' is revealed," 13 July 2018 The Oklahoma teachers' union wanted $10,000 raises for teachers; $5,000 raises for support staff, such as janitors and cafeteria workers; and $200 million in education funding. Holly Yan, CNN, "Here's what teachers accomplished with their protests this year," 29 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of cafeteria

Noun

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cafeteria

Noun

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

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Statistics for cafeteria

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cafeteria

The first known use of cafeteria was in 1894

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More Definitions for cafeteria

cafeteria

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cafeteria

: 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

noun
caf·​e·​te·​ria | \ˌka-fə-ˈtir-ē-ə \

Kids Definition of cafeteria

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

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Comments on cafeteria

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