din·​er | \ˈdī-nər \

Definition of diner 

1 : a person who dines (as in a restaurant) or who is dining

2a : dining car

b chiefly US : a typically small, informal, and inexpensive restaurant that has an extensive menu and that is often made from or designed to resemble a modified railroad dining car had lunch at a roadside diner

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Synonyms for diner


café (also cafe), eatery, grill, restaurant

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Examples of diner in a Sentence

we'll just grab a quick hamburger at the local diner

Recent Examples on the Web

Pizza Hut's recipe to win over younger diners' hearts is simple: Team up with the local NCAA team and add beer. Leslie Patton, chicagotribune.com, "Pizza Hut expands beer delivery," 13 July 2018 Wholesome Kitchen, which will seat up to 180 diners, will feature an all-organic seasonal menu with gluten-free and vegetarian options. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston restaurateur to open two new concepts at Redemption Square at Generation Park," 12 July 2018 All three restaurants will offer diners two choices of appetizer, entree and dessert. 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 25. Carolina Gusman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Local eateries cool the summer heat with chillin' specials during National Ice Cream month," 12 July 2018 Thousands of food service providers there are now not permitted to give diners single-use plastic items like plastic utensils or plastic straws, KIRO7 reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Starbucks to phase out plastic straws at all locations," 9 July 2018 At 17th and Chancellor streets, where Little Pete’s diner and a garage stood, a 13-story hotel is planned. Caitlin Mccabe, Philly.com, "Philadelphia has 2,172,896 parking spaces. So how come you're still circling the block?," 12 July 2018 After 39 years in business, the ritual roles of diner and restaurateur here have blurred into something more significant. Jonathan Kauffman, SFChronicle.com, "Upon retiring, the story of the couple behind the Tenderloin’s most-loved deli," 28 June 2018 Fortville has been methodically adding restaurants and shops and rehabbing old buildings on Main Street in an effort to remake itself into a small-town destination for diners and shoppers. Indianapolis Star, "Here comes Fortville: Tiny burg nabs $9M in funds for Main Street facelift, trail," 18 June 2018 The restaurant owner from northwestern Bosnia in February closed his pizzeria to regular diners and is now serving only free meals to migrants passing through the Balkan nation while trying to reach Western Europe. Amel Emric, Fox News, "Bosnia pizzeria owner switches to free meals for migrants," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diner.' 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 diner

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near diner

dine in

dine on

dine out





Statistics for diner

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diner

The first known use of diner was in 1815

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English Language Learners Definition of diner

: a person who is eating dinner in a restaurant

: a small, informal, and inexpensive restaurant that looks like a railroad car


din·​er | \ˈdī-nər \

Kids Definition of diner

1 : a person eating dinner

2 : a railroad dining car or a restaurant that looks like one

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Comments on diner

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playful or foolish behavior

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