Meaning of “cafeteria” in the English Dictionary

"cafeteria" in English

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cafeterianoun [ C ]

uk /ˌkæf.əˈtɪə.ri.ə/ us /ˌkæf.əˈtɪr.i.ə/

Examples from literature

  • They built a kitchen, a cafeteria, and toilets. 
  • By this time, somebody was bringing in a coffee urn from the cafeteria. 
  • She got her lunch at a cafeteria and there was a rest room. 
  • Then call the cafeteria and have them send up three dinners. 
  • There were tea-rooms, cafeterias, Hungarian cafés, chop suey restaurants. 
  • You're bonkers, Alan said, using the word that the lunch lady back at school had used when chastising them for tearing around the cafeteria. 

(Definition of “cafeteria” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cafeteria" in American English

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cafeterianoun [ C ]

us /ˌkæf·ɪˈtɪər·i·ə/

a restaurant where people choose what they want from the foods and drinks that are offered in a serving area and carry the items to a table after paying for them

(Definition of “cafeteria” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"cafeteria" in Business English

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cafeterianoun [ C ]

uk /ˌkæfəˈtɪəriə/ us

WORKPLACE a restaurant in a factory, school, office building, etc., where people collect food and drink from a serving area and take it to their tables:

Employees have four different salads to choose from for lunch in the company cafeteria.

(Definition of “cafeteria” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)