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From Middle English taverne, from Old French taverne (wine shop), from Latin taberna (inn). Doublet of taberna and taverna.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtævən/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtævɚn/
  • Rhymes: -ævə(ɹ)n
  • Hyphenation: tav‧ern


tavern (plural taverns)

  1. (dated) A building containing a bar licensed to sell alcoholic drinks, and usually offering accommodation.
    Synonyms: inn; see also Thesaurus:pub
    • 1859, Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: The Astronomer-Poet of Persia, page 1:
      Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
      I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
      "Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
      Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “The Select Circle”, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 16832619, page 46:
      At half-past nine on this Saturday evening the parlor of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for the select circle—a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening for a pipe and a cheerful glass.

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  1. Alternative form of taverne