- 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.
Children getting their lunch in a cafeteria.
Origin of cafeteriaAmerican Spanish coffee store
- 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.