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 inspection also found that the prison did not provide suitable cleaning agents in the employee restroom or inmate canteen — an issue of concern whether or not the coronavirus is present. Michael Williams, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Quentin coronavirus violations lead to biggest pandemic-era fine by California regulatory agency," 4 Feb. 2021 At what was the hospital's canteen, carpenters, electricians and laborers were working to transform it into a 50-bed infirmary in three days. Barry Hatton, Star Tribune, "Portugal scrambles for virus beds; health system threatened," 28 Jan. 2021 Players will only be allowed to eat in set areas and must maintain physical distance in the canteen area. Washington Post, "Here’s how League of Legends Esports plans to keep its players safe from covid-19 at Worlds," 25 Sep. 2020 Now sweat trickles, the canteen is out of water, and the September sun beats down like a blowtorch. Bob Brister, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: The Elephants of Chirisa," 12 Nov. 2020 The answer is in a canteen spitting jar, of course. Will Thorne,, "‘The Mandalorian’ season 2 premiere: Is that ‘Star Wars’ character back from the dead? And more burning questions," 30 Oct. 2020 Corkcicle makes some of the cutest, trendiest drinkware, from wine tumblers to the OG canteen, and the brand has partnered with charity:water to help bring clean water to those who need it in developing countries. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "30 great gifts that give back to the community," 27 Oct. 2020 The Royal Orchid Dining Experience opened in September, transforming what was the old staff canteen. Jerry Harmer, Star Tribune, "Thai Airways ensures grounded flying fans can still take off," 8 Oct. 2020 But what struck me most was how sharing a hot meal in the canteen at The Passage makes people who are experiencing homelessness feel right at home. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Pens Foreword to Cookbook Celebrating the Passage's 40th Anniversary," 3 Oct. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for canteen

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The first known use of canteen was in 1737

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Statistics for canteen

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of canteen

: a store in a camp, school, etc., in which food, drinks, and small supplies are sold
chiefly US : a place where drinks and entertainment are provided for soldiers at a military base or camp
chiefly British : a place where food is served in a factory, school, etc.


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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