tav·​ern | \ ˈta-vərn How to pronounce tavern (audio) \

Definition of tavern

1 : an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold to be drunk on the premises
2 : inn

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Synonyms for tavern


bar, barroom, café (also cafe), cantina [Southwest], dramshop, gin mill, grogshop [chiefly British], pub, public house [chiefly British], saloon, taproom, watering hole, watering place

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Examples of tavern in a Sentence

a seedy section of the city's waterfront that was rife with cheap taverns, tattoo parlors, and run-down flophouses a colonial-era tavern that has been serving weary travelers for two and a half centuries

Recent Examples on the Web

The American Airlines Hospitality Complex will be a 600-room structure with all the amenities that come with a hotel of that size: comfortable rooms, a tavern, a fitness facility and even an in-house clinic. Carla Jimenez, star-telegram, "The new American Airlines headquarters will have a 600-room hotel at the heart of its campus," 4 June 2019 Another tip: make a reservation for dinner at the tavern—a beloved local hangout—which serves simple, solid American food, much of it prepared with local ingredients and paired with Virginia wines. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Washington, D.C.," 24 July 2018 An over-the-top glitzy Latin-Asian hybrid, with a cocktail bar, opens May 18 at 33 S Second St. Bridgid’s | Fairmount The tavern at 24th and Meredith Streets reopens May 16 under a new owner. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Let's Eat: Two newcomers to the 'burbs," 16 May 2018 The tavern at 38th and Burnham for years was known as the Winner’s Circle; Castañeda kept the name but remodeled the interior. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burger bar Oscar's Winner's Circle opens Monday," 15 Mar. 2018 Among those traditions are young Irish dancers who perform all over the Chicago area, in restaurants, taverns, schools, competitions and at various St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Lynn Petrak, chicagotribune.com, "Petrak: Countryside names princess, grand marshal for St. Patrick's parade," 21 Feb. 2018 The narrow tavern features a boxing theme, linoleum tile and Christmas lights galore. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "A New Yorker Tours Times Square," 13 Nov. 2018 Isolina, a tavern-style restaurant housed in a historic building, serves up Peruvian fare prepared much like it has been made in homes for generations. Catherine Elton, WSJ, "A Bohemian Neighborhood in Peru Gets a Luxury Lift," 10 Jan. 2019 This time, the show chooses to literally close the doors on the attack itself, instead focusing on the tavern patrons' indifference to (and in some cases, bemusement at) Brianna's screams and cries from the back. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander's Sophie Skelton Breaks Down Brianna's Harrowing Assault," 24 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tavern

Middle English taverne, from Anglo-French, from Latin taberna hut, shop

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Dictionary Entries near tavern






tavern car


Statistics for tavern

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for tavern

The first known use of tavern was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tavern



English Language Learners Definition of tavern

: a place where alcoholic drinks are served
old-fashioned : a building that provides lodging and food for people who are traveling


tav·​ern | \ ˈta-vərn How to pronounce tavern (audio) \

Kids Definition of tavern

1 : a place where beer and liquor are sold and drunk
2 : inn

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More from Merriam-Webster on tavern

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tavern

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tavern

Spanish Central: Translation of tavern

Nglish: Translation of tavern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tavern for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tavern

Comments on tavern

What made you want to look up tavern? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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