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cafeteria

[ kaf-i-teer-ee-uh ]
/ ˌkæf ɪˈtɪər i ə /
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noun
a restaurant in which patrons wait on themselves, carrying their food to tables from counters where it is displayed and served.
a lunchroom or dining hall, as in a factory, office, or school, where food is served from counters or dispensed from vending machines or where food brought from home may be eaten.
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Origin of cafeteria

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; from Latin American Spanish cafetería “café,” Spanish cafeter(a) “coffeemaker,” from French caf(f)etière (equivalent to café + etière feminine of -ier ); t apparently by analogy with words such as bouquetière “flower seller,” from bases ending in t ) + -ía;see origin at coffee, -ier2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use cafeteria in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cafeteria

cafeteria
/ (ˌkæfɪˈtɪərɪə) /

noun
a self-service restaurant

Word Origin for cafeteria

C20: from American Spanish: coffee shop
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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