Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A snack bar or small cafeteria, as on a military installation.
  • n. A recreational facility, bar, or small general store formerly established for the patronage of soldiers.
  • n. A recreation hall or social club where refreshments are available.
  • n. A temporary or mobile eating place, especially one set up in an emergency.
  • n. A flask for carrying drinking water, as on a hike.
  • n. A box with compartments for carrying cooking gear and eating utensils.
  • n. A soldier's mess kit.
  • n. Chiefly British A box used to store silverware.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a small cafeteria or snack bar, especially one in a military establishment, school, or place of work
  • n. a temporary or mobile café used in an emergency or on a film location etc
  • n. a box with compartments for storing eating utensils, silverware etc
  • n. a military mess kit
  • n. a water bottle used by a soldier or camper

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small vessel used by soldiers or hikers for carrying water, liquor, or other drink.
  • n. A chest containing culinary and other vessels for military officers in a garrison.
  • n. The sutler's shop in a garrison.
  • n. A store or small shop within a larger establishment where refreshments and sometimes other supplies are sold. At a military base the canteen may be as large as a general store; within a school or small company it may be only a small counter with very limited supplies, or a snack bar.
  • n. A temporary location where food is dispensed during an emergency.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sort of sutler's shop in barracks, camps, garrisons, etc., where provisions, liquors, etc., are sold.
  • n. A vessel used by soldiers for carrying water or liquor for drink.
  • n. A square box, fitted up with compartments, in which British officers on foreign service pack a variety of articles, as spirit-bottles, tea and sugar, plates, knives, forks, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a flask for carrying water; used by soldiers or travelers
  • n. sells food and personal items to personnel at an institution or school or camp etc.
  • n. a restaurant outside; often for soldiers or policemen
  • n. a recreation room in an institution
  • n. restaurant in a factory; where workers can eat

Etymologies

French cantine, from Italian cantina, wine cellar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French cantine, from Italian cantina. (Wiktionary)

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