cafeteria

noun
caf·​e·​te·​ria | \ ˌka-fə-ˈtir-ē-ə How to pronounce cafeteria (audio) \

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 Thompson said what touches him the most are the housekeepers, cafeteria workers and other support staff who didn't choose medical care as their life calling, but face the same dangers and hardships. Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Online, "Covid-war caregivers' scars going uncounted," 18 Jan. 2021 Many bus drivers, security guards and cafeteria workers are unionized. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "Tech unions in Silicon Valley have been rare. Here’s why that’s changing," 10 Jan. 2021 That has sent thousands of cafeteria workers, airport staff, housekeepers, drivers and waitresses home without work. Author: Jonathan O’connell, Anu Narayanswamy, Anchorage Daily News, "Struggling renters face avalanche of evictions without further federal aid," 24 Dec. 2020 Any school where officials want to return in-person are eligible to receive vaccines for adults in the building, including teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Ohio schools should consider delayed return to school after New Year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says," 23 Dec. 2020 That has sent thousands of cafeteria workers, airport staff, housekeepers, drivers and waitresses home without work. Washington Post, "Struggling renters face avalanche of evictions without federal aid," 20 Dec. 2020 In the cafeteria, two students sit across from each other at six-foot tables. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood High School principal and staff happy to have students back in classrooms," 15 Jan. 2021 In this rich soil, students from the youth horticultural program tend fruits and vegetables, which are used for culinary classes inside the center, and served in the cafeteria. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "Are ‘Edible Landscapes’ the Future of Public Parks?," 16 Nov. 2020 Not so long ago, school lunch meant a line in a cafeteria, students waiting their turns with trays in hand. Erin Golden, Star Tribune, "Minnesota school meal programs require new calculations in the pandemic," 3 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cafeteria

Time Traveler for cafeteria

Time Traveler

The first known use of cafeteria was in 1894

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cafeteria

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cafeteria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cafeteria. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce cafeteria (audio) \

Kids Definition of cafeteria

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cafeteria

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!