• synonyms


or ca·fe

[ka-fey, kuh- or especially for 4, French ka-fey]
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noun, plural ca·fés [ka-feyz, kuh- or especially for 4, French ka-fey] /kæˈfeɪz, kə- or especially for 4, French kaˈfeɪ/.
  1. a restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk.
  2. a restaurant, usually small and unpretentious.
  3. a barroom, cabaret, or nightclub.
  4. coffee.

Origin of café

1780–90; < French: literally, coffee


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1, 2. coffeehouse, bistro, lunchroom, tearoom.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for café


  1. a small or inexpensive restaurant or coffee bar, serving light meals and refreshments
  2. Southern African a corner shop or grocer

Word Origin

C19: from French: coffee
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

Word Origin and History for café



1802, from French café "coffee, coffeehouse," from Italian caffe "coffee" (see coffee). The beverage was introduced in Venice by 1615 and in France from 1650s by merchants and travelers who had been to Turkey and Egypt. The first public café might have been the one opened in Marseilles in 1660.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper