greasy spoon

noun

Definition of greasy spoon

: a dingy small cheap restaurant

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Did You Know?

In the decades following its first use in 1902, the surrounding context of greasy spoon usually included words along the lines of lousy, wind up eating in,slinging hash,the underside of society,settle for, or rather starve. And while things haven't changed entirely, a recent wave of nostalgia has elevated the status of greasy spoons. Since the 1970s, the descriptions might contain words like fabled, distinction,beloved,classic,an institution,fondness for, and comfort food. Now you can consult a Greasy Spoon Guide and read up on Best Greasy Spoons, or lunch at a diner restored to look like a greasy spoon. Some of these eateries are now even named "The Greasy Spoon."

Examples of greasy spoon in a Sentence

We ate at some greasy spoon near the bus station.
Recent Examples on the Web By Monday, they will be cleared for action flicks at the cineplex and burgers at their favorite greasy spoon. Anchorage Daily News, "States rushing to reopen are probably making a deadly error, experts warn," 23 Apr. 2020 Imagine if some enterprising chef brought the best of the United States’ greasy spoon diner dishes to some other country, enchanting the locals with chili cheese fries, jalapeño poppers, and chicken and waffles. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Azalina Eusope’s triumphant San Francisco restaurant is a tribute to mamak street food," 12 Mar. 2020 The folklorists discovered cowboy poems printed in agricultural magazines, on feed store calendars, even on menus in greasy spoon diners. Ryan T. Bell, National Geographic, "Cowboy poetry is a 150-year-old tradition. Will it survive in the 21st century?," 30 Jan. 2020 Just north of Boston, on the other side of the Mystic River: an unlikely engine of upward mobility in a land of greasy spoons and auto body shops and modest two-family homes with chain-link fences. BostonGlobe.com, "Miracle on the Mystic: Chelsea, Everett, and the New American Dream," 11 Oct. 2019 If the allegations against Arroyo are true and the sprawling probe is any indication: Folks don’t do their deals at greasy spoon Loop restaurants any more. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Trump brings all his familiar refrains to Chicago, including jabs at ‘fake news’ media, sanctuary cities, Jussie Smollett and top cop Eddie Johnson," 28 Oct. 2019 In 1938, Howard around Fourth Street was the South of the Slot neighborhood and the heart of Skid Row, filled with cheap rooming houses, bars, pawnshops, greasy spoons and liquor stores. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco scenic treasure that locals overlook," 28 June 2019 New Jersey is known as the diner capital of the world thanks to the hundreds of greasy spoons within the Garden States borders. Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, "50 American Food Facts You Didn't Know," 4 June 2019 Shirlene’s Cuisine, a charming greasy spoon, welcomed us with a light-up sign depicting a sleigh. Ann Votaw, Marie Claire, "I Went to the Harvard of Santa Schools to Become Mrs. Claus," 20 Dec. 2018

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

1902, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for greasy spoon

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The first known use of greasy spoon was in 1902

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Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Greasy spoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greasy%20spoon. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for greasy spoon

greasy spoon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of greasy spoon

informal : a small and cheap restaurant

More from Merriam-Webster on greasy spoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for greasy spoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with greasy spoon

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