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)
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 In a video circulating widely on Weibo today (Dec. 18), a dozen or so students were seen singing Fudan’s school song at the university’s canteen as a form of protest against the revisions. Jane Li, Quartz, "A top Chinese university stripped “freedom of thought” from its charter," 18 Dec. 2019 Rita was a Red Cross canteen volunteer and member of St. Augustine's Altar Guild., "Rita M. Bagshaw," 22 Nov. 2019 At Christmas, every soldier in Company K received 50 cents to spend on plum pudding and other luxuries at the British canteen in Archangel. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 Molotovs littered the canteen, perched on ledges, cluttered the gym where people curled up on yoga mats. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, "How one fighter made his escape from the worst battle of Hong Kong’s protests," 30 Nov. 2019 Thousands of unused petrol bombs littered the campus on the path to the canteen, which had become something of a main headquarters for the protesters. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "What's left of one Hong Kong university after hundreds of protesters fled," 19 Nov. 2019 There were sheds for workers to wash and to change their clothes, a canteen, and, beyond, a landscape dominated by huge piles of dirt and deep craters. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 Boots, helmets and canteens were among battlefield artifacts returned alongside the remains. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Pence Says Return of Soldiers’ Remains Shows U.S. Progress on North Korea," 1 Aug. 2018 Staff at the International Monetary Fund are suffering from a heady rate of food inflation in their canteen: prices per ounce are up 38% in three years. The Economist, "The supply sideWhy onions and pigs can give economists a headache," 10 Oct. 2019

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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The first known use of canteen was in 1737

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Statistics for canteen

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Canteen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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How to pronounce canteen (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on canteen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with canteen

Spanish Central: Translation of canteen

Nglish: Translation of canteen for Spanish Speakers

Comments on canteen

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