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

At least five buildings were damaged, including the Barr House tavern, Glass Nickel Pizza and a steak restaurant, according to a news release on the city’s website. Washington Post, "Firefighter killed in gas explosion, fire near Madison," 11 July 2018 Chet's is a classic roadside tavern, with a pool table, a jukebox, a popcorn machine, and a large clientele of bikers. Edward Mcclelland, Chicago Reader, "Meet Resurrection Mary, the ghost of Archer Avenue," 26 June 2018 The rebuilt tavern offers several attractive spaces, flecked with equine and Chesapeake Bay art. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Mt. Washington Tavern maintains its appeal with vibrant food, lively spaces," 14 June 2018 Brewing companies would pay for a part of operation fees, such as liquor licenses, and in return, these taverns would only serve their products. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Tied House opening Monday next door to Schubas," 23 Feb. 2018 The Dublin location, like other World of Beer spots across the country, will serve familiar starchy, beer-friendly tavern fare — tacos, flatbread, pretzels, bratwursts, and the like. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "World of Beer set to bring taverns with 500 beers, 50 taps to Bay Area," 13 Feb. 2018 The argument escalated into the Toledo War in 1835, which turned bloody when a Michigan sheriff ventured into a Toledo tavern to arrest an Ohio partisan named Two Stickney. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Sorry, Buckeyes, Ohio Mayor Fumbles and Michigan Wins—Key to the City," 22 Nov. 2018 Graham Snyder was in charge of the tavern’s daily operations, but his father was an adviser and helped embed the Red Robin culture. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Red Robin CEO Urged Employees to Find Their Own Ways to Please Customers," 14 Dec. 2018 The chef for the breakfast tavern is Joe Singer, who most recently was the banquet chef at Bass Bay Brewhouse in Muskego and has worked at Blue’s Egg and Maxie’s. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As opening of Uncle Wolfie's Breakfast Tavern nears, a pop-up previews the menu," 25 May 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

24 Mar 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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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