Definition of tavern in English:



North American
  • An inn or public house.

    • ‘They had stopped off at a local tavern for a drink and then called it a night.’
    • ‘The third supervises the tavern and the food and drink being served by her husbands.’
    • ‘A group of friends are having a drink in a tavern with Matthew among them.’
    • ‘Sutherland says her mother didn't drink much at home, but often came home drunk from local taverns.’
    • ‘He'd go to taverns and drink for a week straight.’
    • ‘So that night we go do the show, which was in some basement tavern full of rednecks and bikers.’
    • ‘Lynn sighed, and followed her, while Pip headed towards another tavern to find a drink.’
    • ‘Salinger finds a distinct difference in the ‘culture of drink’ fostered by taverns that catered to the poor.’
    • ‘Men sat inside the taverns drinking and brawling or looking for the company of a woman.’
    • ‘After wandering for a while, Cathena stops by a small tavern for a drink and a bite to eat.’
    • ‘For instance, councils run liquor undertaking establishments in form of taverns which complemented their income generation initiatives.’
    • ‘A four-hour course and a booklet are being offered to restaurants, bars, taverns and sundry drinking establishments as of September.’
    • ‘She leaves him to sleep outside until he has money to pay for the beer he has drunk in her tavern.’
    • ‘During his life, Frans Hals spent much of his spare time in taverns drinking and having fun.’
    • ‘The girl worked as a waitress in her father's tavern through the very door we're standing next to.’
    • ‘On this particular day he was slumped in a chair in the tavern, drinking again, when a strange figure entered.’
    • ‘I don't know what it is about bars and bar food - these little taverns know how to take care of you on a Friday night.’
    • ‘We had met Seamus a bit earlier over in the nearby Bull's Head tavern where some of the folks were dining.’
    • ‘With a few boxes like this one, he could buy that tavern he wanted and offer cool drinks in the summer.’
    • ‘When his wife left he became a drunk, spent any spare time he had drinking ale in the tavern.’
    bar, hostelry, taproom
    pub, inn, public house, bar, hostelry, taphouse, alehouse
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French taverne, from Latin taberna ‘hut, tavern’. Compare with tabernacle.