Definition of coffee in English:



  • 1A hot drink made from the roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical shrub.

    ‘a cup of coffee’
    [as modifier] ‘a coffee pot’
    • ‘I drank endless cups of coffee and cinnamon tea.’
    • ‘Concrete benches provide seating for local workers to enjoy lunches and coffee breaks, while cypress trees form a buffer to the park precinct.’
    • ‘If we have a meeting, the staff has to buy the coffee.’
    • ‘A team of volunteers serve tea, coffee and food.’
    • ‘Dmitri poured another cup of coffee and drank it down in two swallows.’
    • ‘Wendy's heart was pumping violently in her chest, as if she'd drunk ten cups of coffee in so many minutes.’
    • ‘He yawned loudly, taking a drink of coffee from the plastic cup he was holding.’
    • ‘I quit drinking coffee and bought a bottle of caffeine tablets.’
    • ‘We wouldn't think of having a seminar without serving food or coffee.’
    • ‘Siobhan took another drink of her coffee, putting the cup down.’
    • ‘I am now drinking the coffee directly from the carafe, attempting to wake up.’
    • ‘He drank the rest of his cup of coffee and ground out the cigarette in the ashtray.’
    • ‘Australians drink coffee in smaller cups, our baristas tend to swirl the milk a little less, and we have completely different terminology.’
    • ‘At 7:30 in the morning we're going to be serving cookies, coffee and donuts completely for free.’
    • ‘Chelsea pours herself a cup of coffee, drinking it black and scalding hot.’
    • ‘I usually just drink ordinary dark roast coffee, as strong as possible.’
    • ‘Michael slid off the saddle and walked up to the mess wagon as Jeff poured him a cup of coffee.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, only 8 percent of regular coffee drinkers drink decaf.’
    • ‘I pulled on my jacket and glanced at my mother who was drinking her coffee through a Styrofoam cup.’
    • ‘With the exception of espresso coffee, all drinks appeared to come in disposable cups/mugs, whilst the plates were also for one-time use only.’
    joe, java
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A cup of coffee.
      ‘we went out for a coffee’
      • ‘There is a gorgeous coffee shop and the boys love sitting in high chairs having a doughnut or scone while I drink a filter coffee.’
      • ‘Take a drink or a coffee and a snack out into the garden at the back - yes, the view and the water are still there.’
      • ‘There was no enthusiasm to risk a sweet, but one of our party fancied a coffee.’
      • ‘He remembered that he wanted to buy something to drink; perhaps he could offer to buy her a coffee?’
      • ‘As Miguel stood chatting to Cindy, Donella sat alone drinking a coffee when Clare came in.’
      • ‘My lower back is moist from the excursion of making a coffee and drinking it.’
      • ‘We sat there, drinking a black coffee with 3 sugars in it whilst listening to the pub singer.’
      • ‘Cafe de Paris in Prague is the best place to have an afternoon coffee and a good drink to start the evening.’
      • ‘Sometimes they just like a coffee or a cold drink.’
      • ‘Now I see an old lady crossing the street, a guy drinking a coffee, I even see Beth and Andrew and we wave at them.’
      • ‘You can check them out of libraries, put them in backpacks, walk to a cafe, buy a coffee, and then go sit in a park and read them.’
      • ‘After watching a few hours of TV I went to drink a coffee and met some of my local friends.’
      • ‘Actually he and I are talking about getting together on Saturday afternoon for a coffee.’
      • ‘One woman bought a coffee to wash down a white pill.’
      • ‘He was sitting in front of the news drinking a coffee.’
      • ‘If I had to get off the computer to get a coffee or a drink of water, I'd usually try to time it so I detach myself from my headphones at the end of a song.’
      • ‘In my opinion they deserve to get burnt if they are stupid enough to drive whilst drinking a coffee.’
      • ‘The inspector drank an enormous coffee, twenty times the size of an espresso.’
      • ‘I assumed he was drinking a coffee, but no, he was actually chewing tobacco the entire time, and raising the cup to discreetly spit in it.’
      • ‘I might have spent it in a cafe, looking sophisticated, reading a book and drinking a coffee.’
    2. 1.2Coffee seeds roasted and ground, or a powder made from them.
      ‘a jar of instant coffee’
      • ‘Despite shortages of certain items like instant coffee, sugar, and most of our milk powder, the food was lasting well.’
      • ‘The gifts offered to health professionals amounted to a jar of instant coffee and some non-medical books.’
      • ‘The company says it paid an average of $1.20 a pound for the unroasted coffee it bought last year.’
      • ‘The value of the raw beans contained in a jar of instant coffee may be no more than a few pennies, but the final product may be sold for over £2.’
      • ‘Finding a kettle and some instant coffee, he made himself a steaming mug-full and wandered through to the living room.’
      • ‘In memorium, though, I will now always try to buy sustainably grown coffee as promoted by the foundation.’
      • ‘Instant coffee is made principally from Robusta beans.’
      • ‘The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank encourage indebted countries to export primary goods such as coffee, cocoa or copper.’
      • ‘He had purchased supplies; coffee, flour, sugar, and a few sacks of sweet wheat middling, without salt.’
      • ‘All right, instant coffee has its place alongside other short cuts in life.’
      • ‘Put your instant coffee and sugar into your cup, then a dash of the old boiling and start stirring vigorously.’
      • ‘Others may choose to boil water in a pot on the stove and add instant or finely ground coffee.’
      • ‘He stated that he funded his habit by shoplifting coffee and soap powder which he would then sell on to buy drugs.’
      • ‘Famine was a regular occurrence, while spices, coffee and sugar were sucked out for Western markets at vast profit to Dutch business.’
      • ‘They also can buy the coffee by the bag and sell it at a profit, which the congregation then keeps for their own missionary and social justice work.’
      • ‘Burundi and Rwanda are predominantly agricultural economies with their primary exports being coffee and tea.’
      • ‘He filled the coffee-maker with water and spooned in ground coffee from a smoked-glass jar.’
      • ‘She found nothing of the sort, so she started looking through the cupboards for instant coffee.’
      • ‘Over the last 10 years, the quality of instant coffee has improved significantly.’
      • ‘They'd all trek to the store and they'd swap that for coffee and sugar and flour and things that they had to buy to live on through the winter.’
    3. 1.3A pale brown colour like that of milky coffee.
      ‘coffee-coloured skin’
      • ‘The woman's hair flowed behind down to her waist where barrettes were clipped onto her coffee brown hair.’
      • ‘Its coffee brown doors were flailing around in the sudden wind.’
      • ‘They walked along the same succulent sea by which pasty-white holiday makers tend to flop in order to obtain coffee brown tans.’
      • ‘Her coffee brown eyes were sharp and darkened with every word she uttered.’
      • ‘There are single, doubles, anemone-flowered forms, and an amazing choice of colour variations - from coffee through to citrus yellow.’
      • ‘She was gorgeous, with braided coffee coloured hair, smooth, spotless dark skin, hazel eyes and heart shaped lips.’
      • ‘She saw the face of an ugly man with dirty brown hair and coffee colored eyes.’
      • ‘Natural colours such as sienna, coffee, verdure, burgundy, metal and champagne are chosen as ambient colours.’
      • ‘Some give cooler hues of mushroom, putty or milky coffee.’
      • ‘In the theme of green, male colours such as cream white, light coffee, green and brown along with soft cut and cute details give a profile of romantic woman.’
      fawn, brownish-yellow, pale brown, buff, sand, sandy, oatmeal, wheaten, biscuit, coffee-coloured, café au lait, camel, kasha, ecru, taupe, stone, stone-coloured, mushroom, putty, greige
      View synonyms
  • 2The shrub which yields coffee seeds, native to the Old World tropics.

    and → arabica
    • ‘It was fairly simple for commercial growers to transplant cacao and coffee to new plantations, but yerba mate proved to be a finicky crop.’
    • ‘We pass fields of coffee, maize and bananas, including the vast estates of Del Monte.’
    • ‘Jamaica is an island of plantations where more exotic crops such as bananas, pineapples, cocoa, coffee and sugar cane are grown.’
    • ‘Huge plantations of tea, coffee, and cardamom have emerged and taken over what was once prime elephant habitat.’
    • ‘Unlike cacao and coffee, yerba mate was not a domestic plant when first encountered by Europeans.’


Late 16th century: from Turkish kahveh, from Arabic qahwa, probably via Dutch koffie.