[ kan-teen ]
See synonyms for canteen on
  1. a small container used especially by soldiers and hikers for carrying water or other liquids.

  2. a general store and cafeteria at a military base.

  1. a place where free entertainment is provided for military personnel.

  2. a place, as in a factory, school, or summer camp, where refreshments and sometimes personal supplies are sold.

  3. a recreation center or social club, especially for teenagers.

  4. a place set up to dispense food during an emergency.

  5. a snack bar.

  6. British. a box or chest for cutlery and other table utensils.

Origin of canteen

1730–40; <French cantine<Italian cantina cellar, perhaps derivative of canto corner (see cant2) with -ina-ine1

Words Nearby canteen Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use canteen in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for canteen


/ (kænˈtiːn) /

  1. a restaurant attached to a factory, school, etc, providing meals for large numbers of people

    • a small shop that provides a limited range of items, such as toilet requisites, to a military unit

    • a recreation centre for military personnel

  1. a soldier's eating and drinking utensils

  2. a temporary or mobile stand at which food is provided

    • a box in which a set of cutlery is laid out

    • the cutlery itself

  3. a flask or canister for carrying water or other liquids, as used by soldiers or travellers

Origin of canteen

C18: from French cantine, from Italian cantina wine cellar, from canto corner, from Latin canthus iron hoop encircling chariot wheel; see cant ²

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