Definition of


  1. (noun, artifact) a restaurant where you serve yourself and pay a cashier

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Cafeteria

Hyponyms: automat

Hypernyms: eatery, eating house, eating place, restaurant

Origin of the word Cafeteria

  1. 1839, Amer.Eng. from Mexican Sp. cafeteria "coffee store," from caf? "coffee" + Sp. -ter?a "place where something is done" (usually business). The ending came to be understood popularly as meaning "help-yourself" (as though caf? + -teria) and was extended to new formation with that sense from c.1923. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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