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[wey-ter] /ˈweɪ tər/
a person, especially a man, who waits on tables, as in a restaurant.
a tray for carrying dishes, a tea service, etc.; salver.
a person who waits or awaits.
Obsolete. an attendant.
verb (used without object)
to work or serve as a waiter:
to waiter in a restaurant.
Origin of waiter
1350-1400; Middle English; see wait, -er1
Related forms
waiterless, adjective
Usage note
See -person. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for waiter
  • But if you are leaving a tip, ensure that it goes to the waiter by leaving the cash with your server.
  • While he was working as a waiter on a train, a picture magazine sparked his interest in photography.
  • On some cruise lines, tipping is the only way your cabin steward or waiter makes any significant money.
  • The other people at my table were baffled, too, although the waiter didn't seem alarmed.
  • As he snatched a card from a customer, a waiter flirtatiously called out that phrase.
  • The waiter places a perfectly grilled, prime-grade beefsteak before you and then reveals that it came from a cloned steer.
  • They posit a restaurant scenario in which the robot is a waiter.
  • The waiter agreed but what the captain did not know was the waiter took a disliking to the captain.
  • He worked as a waiter and went looking for his future in the public library.
  • If someone is sitting in a café he will usually look up when the waiter approaches.
British Dictionary definitions for waiter


a man whose occupation is to serve at table, as in a restaurant
an attendant at the London Stock Exchange or Lloyd's who carries messages: the modern equivalent of waiters who performed these duties in the 17th-century London coffee houses in which these institutions originated
a person who waits
a tray or salver on which dishes, etc, are carried
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for waiter

late 14c., "attendant, watchman," agent noun from wait (v.). Sense of "servant who waits at tables" is from late 15c., originally in reference to household servants; in reference to inns, eating houses, etc., it is attested from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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