1. a person who dines.
  2. a railroad dining car.
  3. a restaurant built like such a car.
  4. a small, informal, and usually inexpensive restaurant.


  1. a person eating a meal, esp in a restaurant
  2. mainly US and Canadian a small restaurant, often at the roadside
  3. a fashionable bar, or a section of one, where food is served

“one who dines, 1815,” agent noun from dine. Meaning “railway car for eating” is 1890, American English; of restaurants built to resemble dining cars (or in some cases actual converted dining cars) from 1935. The Diner’s Club credit card system dates from 1952.

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