Definition of cafeteria noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

cafeteria

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˌkæfəˈtɪər//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌkæfəˈtɪr//
 
Types of restaurant
 
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a restaurant where you choose and pay for your meal at a counter and carry it to a table. Cafeterias are often found in factories, colleges, hospitals, etc. Consumer groups were urging school cafeterias to serve healthier food. See related entries: Types of restaurant Word Origin mid 19th cent. (originally US): from Latin American Spanish cafetería ‘coffee shop’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cafeteria