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

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 The bodega down the street from me has the best salads. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 This minimalist update on the corner bodega is a temple to the pleasures of print. Sunset Magazine, 26 Apr. 2022 The gunman was apprehended later that day, with the help, in part, of a twenty-one-year-old Syrian immigrant named Zack, who’d been installing security cameras at a bodega. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2022 High Street runs from a breakfast area with Gracenote Coffee, Mother Juice, and a bodega to lunch stalls, ending with a bright atrium and dinnertime options like Newburyport Brewing and Tenderoni’s pizza. Kara Baskin,, 28 Feb. 2022 To avoid that fate, Mr. Bello and his partners have asked DoorDash and GoPuff to partner with them to fulfill longer-distance bodega orders. New York Times, 11 Feb. 2022 Chef Jesse Kuykendall is having a big year in San Antonio, running the kitchen at Ocho, planning a bodega in Government Hill and launching Milpa as both a truck and restaurant. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 31 Dec. 2021 Khalid Sharafi and Omar Haimed's Brooklyn bodega will sell you a cup of Colombian coffee, for $1.50. CBS News, 18 Nov. 2021 In this understanding, a bodega or a corner store is not merely a place to buy coffee. Michael Waters, Wired, 22 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About bodega

Dictionary Entries Near bodega




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bodega

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bodega.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!