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restaurant

[res-ter-uh nt, -tuh-rahnt, -trahnt]
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noun
  1. an establishment where meals are served to customers.
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Origin of restaurant

1820–30, Americanism; < French, noun use of present participle of restaurer < Latin restaurāre to restore
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for restaurants

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He found the restaurants moderate in price, and within his means.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Until then, he would stay at the flat, taking his meals at restaurants.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The windows of the restaurants on the boulevards glittered with lights.

  • None of the hotels or the restaurants have put up their prices one cent.

  • I ate to music, as you might say, same as I've read they do up to Boston restaurants.

    Shavings

    Joseph C. Lincoln


British Dictionary definitions for restaurants

restaurant

noun
  1. a commercial establishment where meals are prepared and served to customers
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Word Origin

C19: from French, from restaurer to restore
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 restaurants

restaurant

n.

1821, from French restaurant "a restaurant," originally "food that restores," noun use of present participle of restaurer "to restore or refresh," from Old French restorer (see restore).

In 1765 a man by the name of Boulanger, also known as "Champ d'Oiseaux" or "Chantoiseau," opened a shop near the Louvre (on either the rue des Poulies or the rue Bailleul, depending on which authority one chooses to believe). There he sold what he called restaurants or bouillons restaurants--that is, meat-based consommés intended to "restore" a person's strength. Ever since the Middle Ages the word restaurant had been used to describe any of a variety of rich bouillons made with chicken, beef, roots of one sort or another, onions, herbs, and, according to some recipes, spices, crystallized sugar, toasted bread, barley, butter, and even exotic ingredients such as dried rose petals, Damascus grapes, and amber. In order to entice customers into his shop, Boulanger had inscribed on his window a line from the Gospels: "Venite ad me omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego vos restaurabo." He was not content simply to serve bouillon, however. He also served leg of lamb in white sauce, thereby infringing the monopoly of the caterers' guild. The guild filed suit, which to everyone's astonishment ended in a judgment in favor of Boulanger. [Jean-Robert Pitte, "The Rise of the Restaurant," in "Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present," English editor Albert Sonnenfeld, transl. Clarissa Botsford, 1999, Columbia University Press]

Italian spelling ristorante attested in English by 1925.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper