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1650s, from French cabaret, originally "tavern" (13c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch cambret, from Old French (Picard dialect) camberete, diminutive of cambre "chamber" (see chamber). The word was "somewhat naturalized" in this sense [OED] It came to mean "a restaurant/night club" in English from 1912; extension of meaning to "entertainment, floor show" is from 1922.