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[bis-troh; French bee-stroh] /ˈbɪs troʊ; French biˈstroʊ/
noun, plural bistros
[bis-trohz; French bee-stroh] /ˈbɪs troʊz; French biˈstroʊ/ (Show IPA)
a small, modest, European-style restaurant or café.
a small nightclub or restaurant.
Origin of bistro
1920-25; < French bistro(t), orig. argot, first attested in the sense “proprietor of a tavern” (1884); of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bistro
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The only place I ever had it better was at a bistro in Nice on this last permission.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
British Dictionary definitions for bistro


noun (pl) -tros
a small restaurant
Word Origin
French: of obscure origin; perhaps from Russian bistro fast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bistro

1906, from French bistro (1884), originally Parisian slang for "little wineshop or restaurant," of unknown origin. Commonly said to be from Russian bee-stra "quickly," picked up during the Allied occupation of Paris in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon; but this, however quaint, is unlikely. Another guess is that it is from bistraud "a little shepherd," a word of the Poitou dialect, from biste "goat."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bistro



A restaurant or cafe

[1940s+; fr French]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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