Children getting their lunch in a cafeteria.
The definition of a cafeteria is a self-service restaurant where you select and pay for food yourself, or a dining area where meals can be purchased or brought from home.
The big room with a lunch line and tables where kids eat their lunches while at school is an example of a cafeteria.
a self-service restaurant in which food is displayed on counters
Origin of cafeteriaAmSp, coffee store
allowing a choice from among several options: used chiefly to designate company benefit or insurance plans that allow each employee to select benefits or coverage best suited to his or her needs
- A restaurant in which the customers are served at a counter and carry their meals on trays to tables.
- A dining area, as at a school or office building, where meals may be purchased or brought from home and eaten.
Origin of cafeteriaSpanish cafetería, coffee shop, cafeteria, from café, coffee, ultimately (via French, café, or Italian, caffè) from Ottoman Turkish qahve; see coffee.
OriginSee also: cafetería