Definition of cabaret in US English:



  • 1Entertainment held in a nightclub or restaurant while the audience eats or drinks at tables.

    ‘she was seen recently in cabaret’
    as modifier ‘a cabaret act’
    • ‘The entertainment packed evening will also feature a top class cabaret show.’
    • ‘At its best, cabaret has always drawn its emotional pull from the shadowy side of the human psyche.’
    • ‘The pliers are part of his cabaret act, because he has become a celebrity.’
    • ‘The colourful opening was followed a comedy sketch, and a very enjoyable evening of cabaret and dancing.’
    • ‘A friend in the trade has donated a carpet for the clubhouse and cabaret acts from Manchester have promised to appear.’
    • ‘A main event tent and three or four other music, cabaret and dance venues.’
    • ‘In the intimate, sleazy surroundings she begins her evening cabaret act, and between the songs she pours out her life story.’
    • ‘As cabaret entertainer the answer will be, and need be, no.’
    • ‘They have devised a spectacular show of cabaret, music, dance and song.’
    • ‘However, their over-the-top rock cabaret works because the audience are hysterically complicit.’
    • ‘With all that going on, there's a well of stories and experiences for them to draw upon in this cabaret work.’
    • ‘The audience is invited to be part of the Cabaret with special on stage seating at cabaret tables.’
    • ‘A selection of acts from the leading lights of London's new alternative cabaret scene.’
    • ‘At night the entertainment really gets into full swing with quizzes, prize bingo, discos, cabaret acts and shows.’
    • ‘The event will include a champagne reception, a four-course dinner, two cabaret acts and two live bands.’
    • ‘To all who contributed to our bucket collection and supported the table quiz and cabaret a big thank you.’
    • ‘However, after exciting and esoteric art cabaret nights, they made steps to expand their remit and take on a more professional outlook.’
    • ‘Comedy and cabaret also attract large audiences and appear to have a large talent pool.’
    • ‘The humour which made him a firm favourite with lounge and cabaret audiences never deserted him throughout his illness.’
    • ‘This New York cabaret show is the alternative offering of the year.’
    entertainment, show, floor show, performance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A nightclub or restaurant where entertainment is performed.
      • ‘I am really looking forward to exploring the parks, seeing the museums, checking out the cabarets and laying back at a few of the many sidewalk cafes in what people have told me is one of the nicest months in Germany.’
      • ‘Now it offers a plethora of bars, restaurants, cabarets, clubs and sports grounds.’
      • ‘In the past two years, half a dozen high-end cabarets opened in renovated warehouses amid car repair shops in a long decrepit industrial area on the West Side of Manhattan, from Chelsea to Midtown near the Hudson River.’
      • ‘Even the most tolerant travel writers hate most hotel cabarets, perhaps for no other reason than that they never like to be mistaken for tourists.’
      • ‘They are all fugitives and people who were expelled, who lived and formed opposition groups in cabarets and nightclubs.’
      • ‘After all, what does a mall consist of other than restaurants, discos, cabarets?’
      • ‘He is promptly thrown into the seamy world of Montreal's nightlife - its clubs, its cabarets, its women of easy virtue.’
      • ‘In the film's madhouse passages, the grim mise en scene contrasts starkly with the warm glow of nightclubs and cabarets.’
      • ‘On Sundays and Mondays, some workers may have skipped the fair to go to the cabarets or taverns in the suburbs (where wine and food were cheaper), though the extent of this custom should not be exaggerated.’
      • ‘I followed his advice to restrain my purchases, but instead we looked for cabarets and bars in order to cheer our spirits since we were feeling down about being away from Japan.’
      • ‘Male prostitution became better organized and there were tetki cabarets, restaurants, and bars as well as bathhouses catering to tetki.’
      • ‘The exaltation of female desire and sin and of the nightlife of clubs and cabarets clearly symbolized Mexico's new (post-World War II) cosmopolitanism and the first waves of developmentalism.’
      • ‘The law which came into force on June 24 is seeing owners of not just cabarets but also lounge bars, restaurants and discotheques struggling to meet stringent licensing conditions.’
      • ‘Over 30 years later, the bittersweet words still resound in the cabarets of Europe and America.’
      • ‘In many regions rural populations also became less dependent on the moral and material support of the clergy, especially as clubs, cafés, and cabarets replaced the church as centres of sociability and entertainment.’
      • ‘‘It was pretty common in Paris then to have places of sexual promise for men - salons, cabarets and so on,’ he says.’
      • ‘These days things are a lot better if only because there are several zoos and a choice of transvestite cabarets.’
      • ‘Their songs were born to dwell in long-lost cabarets and quaint bars that fall just short of seediness.’
      • ‘He's a regular at cabarets, comedy clubs and impromptu band openings.’
      • ‘I go to cabarets and get a beer and set up my camera, and I'm working.’
      nightclub, club, boîte, supper club
      View synonyms


Mid 17th century (denoting a French inn): from Old French, literally ‘wooden structure’, via Middle Dutch from Old Picard camberet ‘little room’. Current senses date from the early 20th century.