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


From French cantine, from Italian cantina, from Vulgar Latin canthus (corner), from Gaulish *cantos, denoting the location for liquor storage, from Proto-Celtic *cantos (corner), from Proto-Indo-European *kh₂ndʰ-. Doublet of cantina.


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


canteen (plural canteens)

(Can we add an example for this sense?)

  1. A small cafeteria or snack bar, especially one in a military establishment, 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.”
      We see him now — the old slouched hat cocked o’er his eye askew, the shrewd, dry smile, the speech so pat, so calm, so blunt, so true. The “Blue-Light Elder” knows ’em well; says he, “That’s Banks — he’s fond of shell; Lord save his soul! We’ll give him” — well, that’s “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”
      Silence! Ground arms! Kneel all! Caps off! Old Blue Light’s going to pray. Strangle the fool that dares to scoff: Attention! 'Tis his way. Appealing from his native sod in forma pauperis to God: “Lay bare thine arm, stretch forth thy rod! Amen!” That’s “Stonewall’s Way.”
      He’s in the saddle now. Fall in! Steady, the whole brigade! Hill’s at the ford, cut off — we’ll win his way out, ball and blade! What matter if our shoes are worn? What matter if our feet are torn? “Quick step! We’re with him before the morn!” That’s “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”
      The sun’s bright lances rout the mists of morning, and by George! Here’s Longstreet struggling in the lists, hemmed in an ugly gorge. Pope and his Yankees, whipped before, “Bay’nets and grape!” hear Stonewall roar; “Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby’s score!” in “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”
      Ah! Maiden, wait and watch and yearn for news of Stonewall’s band! Ah! Widow read with eyes that burn that ring upon thy hand. Ah! Wife, sew on, pray on, hope on! Thy life shall not be all forlorn. The foe had better ne’er been born that gets in “Stonewall’s Way.”

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