From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Drinking from a canteen or water flask of late 20th century or early 21st century design. Note the attached stopper.


Borrowed from French cantine, itself borrowed from Italian cantina. Doublet of cantina.


  • enPR: kăn-tēnʹ
  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kænˈtiːn/, /kænˈtin/
  • (æ-tensing) IPA(key): [kʰɛə̯nˈtin]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːn


canteen (plural canteens)

  1. A small cafeteria or snack bar, especially one in a military establishment, school, or place of work.
    1. (Hong Kong) A cafeteria in a school or place of work.
  2. A temporary or mobile café used in an emergency or on a film location etc.
  3. A box with compartments for storing eating utensils, silverware etc.
  4. A military mess kit.
  5. A water bottle, flask, or other vessel, typically used by a soldier or camper as a bottle for carrying water or liquor for drink
    • 1862, John Williamson Palmer, Stonewall Jackson's Way :
      Come, stack arms, Men! Pile on the rails; stir up the campfire bright; no matter if the canteen fails, we'll make a roaring night. Here Shenandoah brawls along, there burly Blue Ridge echoes strong, to swell the Brigade's rousing song, of “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”

Derived terms[edit]


  • Cantonese: can (ken6, ken6-2, canteen; cafeteria; restaurant)


Further reading[edit]




  1. inflection of cantear:
    1. third-person plural present subjunctive
    2. third-person plural imperative