a. A snack bar or small cafeteria, as on a military installation.
b. A recreational facility, bar, or small general store formerly established for the patronage of soldiers.
2. A recreation hall or social club where refreshments are available.
3. A temporary or mobile eating place, especially one set up in an emergency.
4. A usually metal container for carrying drinking water, as on a hike.
a. A box with compartments for carrying cooking gear and eating utensils.
b. A soldier's mess kit.
6. Chiefly British A box used to store silverware.
[French cantine, from Italian cantina, wine cellar.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.