café au lait

[ kaf-ey oh ley, ka-fey, kuh-; French ka-fey oh le ]
/ ˈkæf eɪ oʊ ˈleɪ, kæˈfeɪ, kə-; French ka feɪ oʊ ˈlɛ /


hot coffee served with an equal amount of hot or scalded milk.
a light brown color.

Nearby words

  1. caffè latte,
  2. caffè macchiato,
  3. cafone,
  4. caftan,
  5. café,
  6. café au lait spots,
  7. café brûlot,
  8. café car,
  9. café chantant,
  10. café con leche

Origin of café au lait

1755–65; < French: literally, coffee with milk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cafe au lait

  • Madame prepared her best omelet and cafe-au-lait and Monsieur opened his most prized bottle of Burgundy.

    The Greater Love|George T. McCarthy

British Dictionary definitions for cafe au lait

café au lait

/ French (kafe o lɛ) /


coffee with milk
  1. a light brown colour
  2. (as modifier)café-au-lait brocade
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 cafe au lait

cafe au lait


1763, French café au lait, literally "coffee with milk," from lait "milk" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin lactis, from Latin lactis (see lactation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper