Definition of tavern in US English:



North American
  • An establishment for the sale of beer and other drinks to be consumed on the premises, sometimes also serving food.

    • ‘A group of friends are having a drink in a tavern with Matthew among them.’
    • ‘Lynn sighed, and followed her, while Pip headed towards another tavern to find a drink.’
    • ‘Men sat inside the taverns drinking and brawling or looking for the company of a woman.’
    • ‘The girl worked as a waitress in her father's tavern through the very door we're standing next to.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They had stopped off at a local tavern for a drink and then called it a night.’
    • ‘So that night we go do the show, which was in some basement tavern full of rednecks and bikers.’
    • ‘Sutherland says her mother didn't drink much at home, but often came home drunk from local taverns.’
    • ‘Salinger finds a distinct difference in the ‘culture of drink’ fostered by taverns that catered to the poor.’
    • ‘The third supervises the tavern and the food and drink being served by her husbands.’
    • ‘When his wife left he became a drunk, spent any spare time he had drinking ale in the tavern.’
    • ‘A four-hour course and a booklet are being offered to restaurants, bars, taverns and sundry drinking establishments as of September.’
    • ‘He'd go to taverns and drink for a week straight.’
    • ‘For instance, councils run liquor undertaking establishments in form of taverns which complemented their income generation initiatives.’
    • ‘After wandering for a while, Cathena stops by a small tavern for a drink and a bite to eat.’
    • ‘On this particular day he was slumped in a chair in the tavern, drinking again, when a strange figure entered.’
    • ‘With a few boxes like this one, he could buy that tavern he wanted and offer cool drinks in the summer.’
    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.