espres·​so | \e-ˈspre-(ˌ)sō \
variants: or less commonly \ik-​ˈspre-​(ˌ)sō \
plural espressos

Definition of espresso 

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

2 : a cup of espresso

Examples of espresso in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The espresso at Grandma’s Coffee House, a family-run operation that’s been in business for over 100 years, is the best on the island. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Maui Needs To Be Your Next Girls Trip," 19 Nov. 2018 Milan, home to Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, the Negroni Sbagliato, and the beloved espresso, has a new resident: Starbucks. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Starbucks Has Officially Landed in Italy," 6 Sep. 2018 In Italy, an espresso at a coffee bar is usually a quick morning or after-lunch ritual performed standing up. Fox News, "Starbucks debuts in Italy with premium brews, novelty bar," 6 Sep. 2018 Rise Craft Coffee + Eatery Cold brew coffee on tap, espresso drinks, pastries, breakfast burgers and antipasto plates are just a few of the offerings at this cafe that took over the old Jobot Coffee and Diner building in downtown Phoenix. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "19 new restaurants opened in Phoenix in May for donuts, salads, tacos, pizza," 1 June 2018 Featuring nitro cold brew, sweet tea, chai and espresso drinks made-to-order. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "A peek at new Whole Foods by UMKC, opening soon with taproom, seafood bar, cocktails | The Kansas City Star," 19 May 2018 Using a spoon, drizzle about half the liqueur and half the espresso over the ladyfingers. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How to Make Sophia Loren's Tiramisu," 16 Sep. 2016 In addition to the Snowy Cheese Latte, Starbucks stores in China are also selling a Christmas Dessert Latte, which features steamed milk, espresso, and the flavors of traditional British Christmas pudding. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Is Selling a Snowy Cheese Latte in China," 17 Nov. 2018 Shiru offers drip, decaf, espresso, cold brew, and nitro coffee, as well as four types of tea, six types of lattes, and orange juice. Fox News, "Students ‘pay’ for coffee with personal data," 4 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of espresso

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for espresso

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about espresso

Listen to Our Podcast about espresso

Statistics for espresso

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for espresso

The first known use of espresso was in 1945

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for espresso



English Language Learners Definition of espresso

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

More from Merriam-Webster on espresso

Spanish Central: Translation of espresso

Nglish: Translation of espresso for Spanish Speakers

Comments on espresso

What made you want to look up espresso? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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