tav·ern | \ ˈta-vərn \

Definition of tavern 

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

2 : inn

Keep scrolling for more

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 blast rained debris up and down the street and leveled the Barr House, a tavern Barr owned. Todd Richmond, chicagotribune.com, "Communications subcontractor 'on site' ahead of fatal Wisconsin blast that killed firefighter, injured 11," 12 July 2018 The market’s second floor would feature a blend of other retail, such as a coffee shop, a bar or tavern, an ice cream parlor and booths selling jewelry, flowers, stationery and spices. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Parkville Market Project Attracting Substantial Interest From Food Vendors, Restaurants Around Hartford," 3 July 2018 Fish fries at 1109 Starkweater Avenue in Tremont date all the way back to the end of World War II, when the owner of what was then Dempsey's Oasis, Stan Dembowski, added them to his tavern menu. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, "Popular Old World fish fry to return at Prosperity Social Club," 8 Feb. 2018 Barr also worked as a real estate agent and owned the Barr House, a tavern destroyed in the explosion. Washington Post, "First black female mayor of San Francisco is sworn in," 12 July 2018 Schnatter attended Jeffersonville High and started his pizza business in the closet of his father's tavern in the town in 1984. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Papa John's hometown takes his name off gym after he admits racial slur," 11 July 2018 Her food deserves a warmer space than this slightly unwieldy dining room that calls to mind a tavern. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Filipino Specialty Best Paired With a Brew in the East Village," 5 July 2018 After dinner, nick the inn’s Scrabble set and move downstairs to the tavern for a drink or two in front of the fire. Elizabeth Dunn, WSJ, "A Stress-Free Summer Weekend in the Catskills," 15 June 2018 The business was closed for three days for production, and during that time, crews added booths and a pool table to the tavern. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Her bar was featured in ‘Three Billboards.’ She never thought it’d be so popular. | Charlotte Observer," 7 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tavern

Dictionary Entries near tavern






tavern car


Statistics for tavern

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tavern

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tavern



English Language Learners Definition of tavern

: a place where alcoholic drinks are served

: a building that provides lodging and food for people who are traveling


tav·ern | \ ˈta-vərn \

Kids Definition of tavern

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

2 : inn

Keep scrolling for more

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 make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!