bo·​de·​ga | \ bō-ˈdā-gə How to pronounce bodega (audio) \

Definition of bodega

1 : a storehouse for maturing wine
3 : a usually small grocery store in an urban area specifically : one specializing in Hispanic groceries

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Apothecaries, Bodegas, and Boutiques

Apothecary, bodega, and boutique may not look very similar, but they are all related both in meaning and in origin. Each of these words can be traced back to a Latin word for “storehouse” (apotheca), and each one refers in English to a retail establishment of some sort. Although bodega initially meant “a storehouse for wine,” it now most commonly refers to a grocery store in an urban area, especially one that specializes in Hispanic groceries. Boutique has also taken on new meanings: its first sense in English (“a small retail store”) is still current, but it now may also denote “a small company that offers highly specialized products or services.” Of the three words, apothecary has changed the least; it has gone from referring solely to the person who sells drugs or medicines to also naming the store where such goods are sold.

Examples of bodega in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the horror comedy, three young New York pals (Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV) want to save their local bodega, though vampires have moved in under the guise of gentrification in order to rule the Bronx. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "25 powerful movies to stream in honor of Black History Month, from 'Da 5 Bloods' to 'One Night in Miami'," 17 Feb. 2021 Last week, a friend who manages his bodega’s insurance policy also died. Anchorage Daily News, "Vaccine delays leave grocery workers feeling expendable," 16 Feb. 2021 In August, an angry customer slashed thousands of dollars worth of goods at a Bronx bodega after being asked to wear a mask. Alexandra Olson, Star Tribune, "Vaccine delays leave grocery workers feeling expendable," 15 Feb. 2021 As a New York native, Pinky has an otherworldly presence in the impoverished Indian milieu, but as the daughter of a Queens bodega-owner is capable of showing far more solidarity with Balram than his gangster compatriots. Karthik Purushothaman, The New Republic, "The White Tiger Inverts the Indian Rags-to-Riches Story," 2 Feb. 2021 It’s been described as being similar to a Royal Blue Grocery, a bodega that originated in Austin and has expanded to several locations in Dallas. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Inside one of Dallas’ biggest restaurant construction projects in a decade: The Village and its 10+ new eateries," 1 Feb. 2021 Consider the outfit he was spotted wearing to the bodega earlier this month for instance. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, "Even in 2020, Timothée Chalamet Brought Style to Everything He Did," 27 Dec. 2020 Cara Salvatore loves a local corner bodega in Brooklyn, its specialty food items, and the cashiers who work there. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why traditional retailers have the checkout blues," 14 Dec. 2020 At the corner bodega where neighbors talk about how there is no work and no way to pay the bills. New York Times, "‘It Makes Me Angry’: These Are the Jobless in a City Filled With Wealth," 7 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bodega.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bodega

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bodega

Spanish, from Latin apotheca storehouse — more at apothecary

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Statistics for bodega

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bodega.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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