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n. pl. cap·puc·ci·nos
1. Espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream.
2. A serving of this beverage.
[Italian, Capuchin, cappuccino (from the resemblance of its color to the color of the monk's habit); see capuchin.]
Word History: The Capuchin order of friars, established after 1525, played an important role in bringing Catholicism back to Reformation Europe. The informal Italian name for a member of the order, cappuccino, comes from the long pointed cowl, or cappuccino, derived from cappuccio, "hood," that was worn as part of the order's habit. The French version of cappuccino was capuchin (now capucin), from which came English Capuchin. The name of this order was later used as the name (first recorded in English in the late 1700s) for a type of monkey with a tuft of black cowl-like hair. In Italian cappuccino went on to develop another sense, "espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream," so called because the color of the coffee resembled the color of the habit of a Capuchin friar. It first appeared in English in the mid-1900s.
n, pl -nos
(Cookery) coffee with steamed milk, sometimes served with whipped cream or sprinkled with powdered chocolate
cap•puc•ci•no(ˌkæp əˈtʃi noʊ, ˌkɑ pə-)
hot espresso coffee with foaming steamed milk added, often sprinkled with cinnamon.
[1945–50; < Italian: literally, capuchin, from the color of a Capuchin habit]