coca

noun

co·​ca ˈkō-kə How to pronounce coca (audio)
1
: any of several South American shrubs (genus Erythroxylon, family Erythroxylaceae)
especially : one (E. coca) that is the primary source of cocaine
2
: dried leaves of a coca (especially Erythroxylon coca) containing alkaloids including cocaine

Examples of coca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lopez offered a plastic bag of coca leaves, a common remedy against hypoxia. Tom Vanderbilt, Travel + Leisure, 2 Dec. 2023 At the threshold of the frame, people had left coca leaves and plastic cups of red wine as offerings to Incan gods. Gabriel Urza, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2024 Ecuador, wedged between coca producers Colombia and Peru, was already emerging as a battlefield for drug traffickers and gangs. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 Sipping on Peruvian coffee or mate de coca — a beverage made from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca), which abates altitude sickness — visitors on day trips get a glimpse of Uros history, culture and engineering. Tim Brinkhof, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2023 In 2020, former president Ivan Duque tried to revive indiscriminate glyphosate fumigations as a strategy to combat coca production, although the Colombian constitutional court banned the practice a decade ago due to the health risks for farmers. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, 24 July 2023 In the months leading up to their sacrifice, all three children had consumed alcohol and coca leaves—substances that were typically reserved for the Inca elite. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2023 Almost all the coca crops in the country, the world’s largest producer of the raw leaf, had already moved to border provinces, above all Nariño and Putumayo (next to Ecuador) and Norte de Santander (on the frontier with Venezuela). Ivan Briscoe and Glaeldys González, Foreign Affairs, 4 Oct. 2023 Wedged between the world’s top two coca producers, Colombia and Peru, Ecuador has become a crucial transit point and battleground for traffickers moving cocaine to the United States and Europe. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coca.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Spanish, from Quechua kuka

First Known Use

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of coca was in 1670

Dictionary Entries Near coca

Cite this Entry

“Coca.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coca. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

coca

noun
co·​ca ˈkō-kə How to pronounce coca (audio)
: a South American shrub with leaves that are the source of cocaine
also : its dried leaves

Medical Definition

coca

noun
co·​ca ˈkō-kə How to pronounce coca (audio)
1
: any of several South American shrubs (genus Erythroxylon of the family Erythroxylaceae)
especially : one (E. coca) that is the primary source of cocaine
2
: dried leaves of a coca (as Erythroxylon coca) containing alkaloids including cocaine

More from Merriam-Webster on coca

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