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 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 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

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

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 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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