Definition of espresso in English:



  • A type of strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.

    ‘he bought an espresso and a couple of croissants’
    as modifier ‘roadside espresso bars’
    • ‘His daughter was in Rome a couple of years ago and came in for a quick espresso at the bar.’
    • ‘As well as the usual range of coffees (starting with espressos for £1), there's an excellent range of cakes and pastries, a tapas menu and, in true coffee-house style, weekly acoustic music evenings.’
    • ‘So, obviously, I will not be buying any coffee from that particular espresso bar in future.’
    • ‘The next morning, swathed in a towel and sipping coffee from my new espresso cups, life felt fine.’
    • ‘Lattes, cappuccinos and espressos are served with a selection of little cakes and pastries.’
    • ‘In the catering trade milk may be heated with a jet of superheated steam from an espresso machine, which makes it froth rather than form a skin.’
    • ‘Stand at the bar (it costs more to sit down at a table) with the locals at an Italian coffee shop and down an expresso and a pastry.’
    • ‘My dad found his coffee beans and began measuring them into the espresso machine.’
    • ‘In the end we had a couple of very good espressos and a bar of artisan chocolate from Belgium.’
    • ‘It's open early to serve late-morning cappuccinos and espressos.’
    • ‘Put the ground espresso beans into the machine and press down very lightly.’
    • ‘They sipped their espressos and cappuccinos from the coffee shop next door that was practically part of the theatre.’
    • ‘In New York, if you look hard, it is still possible to get a double espresso from a real coffee shop that makes no attempt to look like your lounge.’
    • ‘Embarrassed now, I ordered two espressos from the girl at the counter.’
    • ‘We also ordered an espresso and a cappuccino and they were an additional 80p each.’
    • ‘They even managed to get an order for two coffees and two espressos wrong.’
    • ‘I kept vowing to stop drinking the coffee, but my boss kept buying me double espressos, so this went on for quite some time.’
    • ‘However, the little booth selling tickets also doubled as an espresso bar.’
    • ‘I therefore will endeavour to buy some freshly ground espresso coffee in the near future.’
    • ‘As the name of the place suggests, you can also enjoy a cup of coffee at the store - from filter coffee to cappuccino and espressos.’


The spelling expresso is not used in the original Italian and is strictly incorrect, although it is common


From Italian (caffè) espresso, literally ‘pressed out (coffee)’.