Definitions for cafeteriaˌkæf ɪˈtɪər i ə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word cafeteria

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cafeteria(noun)

    a restaurant where you serve yourself and pay a cashier


  1. Cafeteria(n.)

    a room within a building functioning in the same manner as a cafeteria. In certain organizations, as schools, the food may be provided gratis.

  2. Origin: [Cf. F. cafetire.]


  1. cafeteria(Noun)

    A restaurant in which customers select their food at a counter then carry it on a tray to a table to eat

  2. cafeteria(Noun)

    A dining area in an institution where meals may be purchased (as above) or brought in from elsewhere

  3. Origin: (Mid 19th or 20th century) American Spanish cafetería, coffeehouse, from cafetera, coffee maker, from French cafetière, from café, from Ottoman Turkish qahveh, from Arabic qahwa


  1. Cafeteria

    A cafeteria is a type of food service location in which there is little or no waiting staff table service, whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or school; a school dining location is also referred to as a dining hall or canteen. Cafeterias are different from coffeehouses, although that is the Spanish meaning of the English word. Instead of table service, there are food-serving counters/stalls, either in a line or allowing arbitrary walking paths. Customers take the food they require as they walk along, placing it on a tray. In addition, there are often stations where customers order food and wait while it is prepared, particularly for items such as hamburgers or tacos which must be served hot and can be quickly prepared. Alternatively, the patron is given a number and the item is brought to their table. Sometimes, for some food items and drinks, customers collect an empty container, pay at the check-out, and fill the container after the check-out. Free second servings are often allowed under this system. For legal purposes, this system is rarely or never used for alcoholic beverages in the US.

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