Help support Wordnik by adopting your favorite word!


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

  • n. A small café.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small café or bar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A café, or room in a café, in which smoking is allowed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cheap coffee-house where smoking is allowed; a tap-room.

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

  • n. a small (and usually shabby) cafe selling wine and beer and coffee


French, probably from Walloon èstaminê, staminê, cowshed, little café, probably from stamen, post to which a cow is tied at the feeding trough, probably of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French estaminet. (Wiktionary)


  • In front of the estaminet was our "listening post," where we kept watch and guard at night.

    A Soldier's Sketches Under Fire

  • In one corner of the estaminet was a group of bourgeois gentlemen talking business for a time, and then listening to a monologue from the woman behind the counter.

    Now It Can Be Told

  • The propriety of housing (p. 207) a Senior Chaplain in an estaminet might be questioned, but this particular one was called the estaminet of St. Joseph.

    The Great War As I Saw It

  • The Company settled down in the chief "estaminet" of the place.

    "Contemptible", by "Casualty"

  • A Staff Officer, rubbing sleep from his eyes, emerged from a little "estaminet" and gave the Colonel the necessary orders.

    "Contemptible", by "Casualty"

  • However, later in the day, after dark, I went to a local 'estaminet' in a nearby wood, obviously without a hat.

    Army Rumour Service

  • The size of the so-called Passage Feydeau (which opened in 1791 and was demolished in 1824) can be judged by the number of its tenants: several milliners and haberdashers, two book stalls, a florist, a tobacconist, a stamp dealer, a chestnut seller, and, along the entire length of the upper floor, an estaminet (a distinctly unfancy type of café that permitted smoking).1

    Makeshift Metropolis

  • We spent the rest of that Saturday afternoon over a bottle of absinthe in the little estaminet in the cobbled alley off the boulevard du Temple.

    Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile

  • As we were preparing to leave the estaminet, when we had finished our bottle of absinthe the lunch hour had been and gone, I said to my new friend, “Oscar”—he insisted that I call him “Oscar”—“when we first met this morning, how did you know that Sherard was not my name?”

    Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile

  • “Here we are,” he said, pushing open the door of a small and dingy estaminet.

    Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • My house is a decayed house,
    And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
    Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
    Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London.
    The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
    Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.

    - TS Eliot, 'Gerontion'.

    July 22, 2009