Definition of tavern in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtavərn/


chiefly archaic or North American
An establishment for the sale of beer and other drinks to be consumed on the premises, sometimes also serving food.
Example sentences
  • A four-hour course and a booklet are being offered to restaurants, bars, taverns and sundry drinking establishments as of September.
  • Lynn sighed, and followed her, while Pip headed towards another tavern to find a drink.
  • The third supervises the tavern and the food and drink being served by her husbands.


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

  • inn from Old English:

    An inn was originally any dwelling place or lodging. The word is related to in—an inn is a place you live or stay in. Medieval translators used it for Latin hospitium, meaning ‘a residence for students’. This survives in the Inns of Court in London, the buildings of the four legal societies with the exclusive right of admitting people to the English bar. The usual modern sense of ‘a public house’ dates from the late Middle Ages—an inn specialized in providing accommodation and refreshment for travellers, as opposed to a tavern [ME, from Latin taberna], which was just for drinking. Inmate (late 16th century) was probably originally an ‘inn mate’ and was initially a person who shared a house, specifically a lodger or subtenant. In the 16th and 17th centuries there were strict by-laws about harbouring poor people as inmates: this was a practice that caused the number of local paupers to increase.

Words that rhyme with tavern

Avon, Cavan, cavern, raven

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tav·ern

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