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 general consensus is that employees are ready to get back to offices to banter with colleagues over canteen meals. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, "A year on, some in India’s startup community are struggling with work from home," 21 Apr. 2021 What was meant to be a tiny, all-day Filipino canteen became an al fresco Filipino party after Bilao took advantage of outdoor-dining rules to annex the sidewalk and pitch a picnic tent on First Avenue. New York Times, "17 Restaurants Where New Yorkers Can Make Up for Lost Time," 20 Apr. 2021 Its name, the Mercer Culinary Millennia, evokes a futuristic spaceship, one with an excellent canteen. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "The Best Bread Knife Costs $22 But Is Worth Its Weight In Gold. GOLD!," 3 Apr. 2021 The new collection includes a stemless wine cup, a canteen, a mug, a tumbler, and a lunchbox. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, "10 Boozy Delights That Should Be On Your Radar This Spring," 16 Apr. 2021 The canteen and similar establishments helped build the model for the USO clubs that famously entertained soldiers, The Times reported. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Warnings before a tragedy in Reseda," 13 Apr. 2021 With offices shut, large numbers of canteen and lunch-hour restaurant workers, janitors, and others have lost their jobs altogether. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Beautifully Boring - Quiet and Dry with Above Average Temperatures," 11 Mar. 2021 Then there’s the fashionable canteen Sant Ambroeus, which began welcoming guests to its new outpost at the mall earlier this month after opening its coffee shop in January. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Don’t Be Fooled by the Mall Setting, Adam Lippes’s New Store Is an Oasis of Stylish Warmth," 16 Mar. 2021 One story has Wilkens in the early morning darkness filling his canteen from the company’s water bag when a German soldier surprised him with hands up -- wanting to surrender. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "WWII veteran in Rocky River celebrates 100th birthday," 15 Feb. 2021

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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Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 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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