noun, often attributive
cof·​fee | \ ˈkȯ-fē How to pronounce coffee (audio) , ˈkä- \

Definition of coffee

1a : a beverage made by percolation, infusion, or decoction from the roasted and ground seeds of a coffee plant
b : any of several Old World tropical plants (genus Coffea and especially C. arabica and C. canephora) of the madder family that are widely cultivated in warm regions for their seeds from which coffee is prepared
c : coffee seeds especially roasted and often ground — compare arabica, robusta
d : a dehydrated product made from brewed coffee instant coffee also : a beverage made from this
2 : a cup of coffee two coffees

Illustration of coffee

Illustration of coffee

coffee 1b

Did you know?

Coffee is made from the roasted and ground seeds, or beans, of the coffee plant, a tropical evergreen shrub. Two of the 25 or more species, Arabica and Robusta, supply most of the world's coffee. Arabica is grown in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Indonesia; Robusta mainly in Africa. The shrub bears small white flowers with a jasmine-like fragrance. The fruit, which is red when mature, is called a cherry. The seed is called a bean. Coffee contains large amounts of caffeine, whose effects have always been an important element in the drink's popularity. Coffee-drinking dates from the 15th century in Arabia. It reached Europe by the 17th century and immediately became popular. Coffee is consumed by about one-third of the world's population.

Examples of coffee in a Sentence

I bought a pound of coffee.
Recent Examples on the Web The voluntary recall includes certain lots of beverages, liquid coffee, pediatric nutritional supplements, protein shakes, nutritional shakes and thickened liquids. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 The price of the room includes all performances, meals, and basic beverages like drip coffee, tea and non-pressed juices. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 Guests can enjoy Starbucks coffee, a water filling station, sweet and savory snacks, fresh pastries in the morning and a dessert bar in the evening. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2022 Refreshments in the church hall will offer breakfast sandwiches, pastries, hotdogs, hamburgers, coffee, soda and water. Hartford Courant, 28 July 2022 Our experts were impressed with its performance on grass, coffee, chocolate syrup and wine stains. Jodhaira Rodriguez, Good Housekeeping, 27 July 2022 Any stay comes with complimentary snacks, tea, and coffee—plus WiFi. Kristin Scharkey, Sunset Magazine, 26 July 2022 On these days, members can get 50% off one handcrafted cold beverage, including iced coffee, iced tea, cold brews, Frappuccino’s, refreshers – including the new flavors like Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher and Paradise Drinks, and more. Leada Gore |, al, 19 July 2022 This antioxidant-rich option is formulated with coffee, caffeine, castor seed, and argan oil to stimulate hair growth at the follicle. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 19 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of coffee

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for coffee

Italian & Turkish; Italian caffè, from Turkish kahve, from Arabic qahwa

Buying Guide

Love your morning coffee? The Reviews team researched the best coffee bean grinders to make the perfect cup of Joe.

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coffee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for coffee


cof·​fee | \ ˈkȯ-fē How to pronounce coffee (audio) \

Kids Definition of coffee

1 : a drink made from the roasted and ground seeds ( coffee beans ) of a tropical plant
2 : the roasted seeds of the coffee plant when whole or ground

More from Merriam-Webster on coffee

Nglish: Translation of coffee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coffee for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about coffee


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