espresso

play
noun espres·so \e-ˈspre-(ˌ)sō\
variants: or less commonly

play \ik-ˈspre-(ˌ)sō\

Definition of espresso

plural

espressos

  1. 1 :  coffee brewed by forcing steam or hot water through finely ground darkly roasted coffee beans

  2. 2 :  a cup of espresso

espresso was our Word of the Day on 11/03/2012. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of espresso from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Espresso is short for "caffè espresso," which is Italian for pressed-out coffee; the name quite accurately describes the process of making the beverage. The word first appeared in print in English in 1945 as part of the phrase "caffè espresso," and soon it was flying solo. You may be tempted to use "expresso" instead of "espresso." If so, you're not alone-by 1955 this variant was found in print too. One common misconception is that caffè espresso means "fast coffee," which makes "expresso" more logical to English-speakers (by analogy with "express"). It's also possible that "expresso" came about simply by transforming "espresso" to a word that looked more familiar. "Espresso" remains by far the more popular variant, although "expresso" continues to turn up.

Origin and Etymology of espresso

Italian (caffè) espresso, probably literally, coffee made on the spot at the customer's request


First Known Use: 1945


ESPRESSO Defined for English Language Learners

espresso

play
noun

Definition of espresso for English Language Learners

  • : strong coffee that is made by forcing steam through finely ground roasted coffee beans


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