can·​teen | \ kan-ˈtēn How to pronounce canteen (audio) \

Definition of canteen

1a : a portable chest with compartments for carrying bottles or for cooking and eating utensils
b : a flask for carrying liquids (as on a hike)
c : mess kit
d British : a chest for storing flatware
2a : a bar at a military post or camp
b : a general store at a military post : exchange
c : an establishment that serves as an informal social club (as for soldiers or a community's teenagers)
d : a small cafeteria or snack bar

Examples of canteen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The art crowd and the downtown literary set also adopted Forlini’s as a canteen. New York Times, 10 Apr. 2022 In addition to common building materials like concrete and steel for the campus buildings, Plot 2’s canteen will be constructed using green Mass Engineered Timber. Y-jean Mun-delsalle, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 As this operation carries on under the leadership of Mr. Mouzawak’s business partner, Christine Codsi, Mr. Mouzawak is building anew in France, with Tawlet Paris, a canteen and grocer which opened this month in the 11th arrondissement. New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 Drinking fountains were scarcer than restrooms and there was no bottled water, so Dad filled his own canteen and had bought small ones for Bruce and me. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2022 Mooonraker begins mundanely enough with Bond noshing on filet of sole, mixed salad with his own dressing, some Brie and a half carafe of white Bordeaux at MI6’s on-premises canteen. John Mariani, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The Baron had become a place where favors—a coffee carried from the canteen, agreeing to not film the faces of Special Forces soldiers—could get a gate opened when it was not meant to be. Jane Ferguson, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 2021 French President Emmanuel Macron in the canteen of a high school in Ahun, central France, in late January. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 More of a canteen, Meder serves up lip-smacking good food that's fresh and healthy and where veggies are the focus. Rooksana Hossenally, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of canteen

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for canteen

French cantine bottle case, sutler's shop, from Italian cantina wine cellar, probably from canto corner, from Latin canthus iron tire — more at cant entry 4

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The first known use of canteen was in 1737

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Dictionary Entries Near canteen

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Canteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for canteen


can·​teen | \ kan-ˈtēn How to pronounce canteen (audio) \

Kids Definition of canteen

1 : a store (as in a camp or factory) in which food, drinks, and small supplies are sold
2 : a place of recreation and entertainment for people in military service
3 : a small container for carrying water or another liquid a hiker's canteen

More from Merriam-Webster on canteen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canteen

Nglish: Translation of canteen for Spanish Speakers


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