\ ˈkät How to pronounce khat (audio) \
variants: or less commonly or kat

Definition of khat

: a shrub (Catha edulis) of the staff-tree family that is cultivated in the Middle East and Africa for its leaves and buds which are the source of a habituating stimulant when chewed or used as a tea also : its leaves and buds

Examples of khat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The khat is imported by truck from Harar in Ethiopia. Jillian Keenan, Time, "'I Need the Money But I Feel Guilt.' How a Drought-Resistant Crop Turned Women in Kenya into Reluctant Drug Lords," 20 Aug. 2019 Even the market selling khat, a mild stimulant used by most Yemenis, had fallen quiet. New York Times, "Battles Rage Around International Airport in Strategic Yemeni City," 16 June 2018 The market that was attacked sells khat, the stimulant leaf widely consumed in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. Shuaib Almosawa And Nour Youssef, New York Times, "Airstrike Kills at Least 25 at Market in Yemen," 1 Nov. 2017 So, besides identifying Hadi as an al-Qaida commander before 9/11, Darbi also provided a preview of his life story — starting as a frequent, teenaged hash and khat user in Saudi Arabia with no affinity to Islam. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "War-court exclusive: To go home, Saudi terrorist IDs al-Qaida commander," 15 Aug. 2017 The airstrike on Saturday hit a market in Khulqut Nihm, about 20 miles north of the capital, Sana, that sold food, livestock and khat, a leaf that is chewed as a stimulant. Shuaib Almosawa And Kareem Fahim, New York Times, "Medical Supplies Reach War-Torn City in Yemen FEB. 13, 2016," 27 Feb. 2016 The attack late Friday hit a market selling khat, a mild stimulant common in Yemen, setting off a fire and leaving the dead and wounded scattered in the wreckage. Shuaib Almosawa And Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Yemen Market Airstrike Kills at Least 16 People," 11 Mar. 2017 Starting in 2003, small teams of CIA agents, commandos and interpreters flew into Somalia from Kenya aboard the daily flights that delivered khat, a popular narcotic. David Axe, WIRED, "Empty Threat of Drones Saved the CIA in Somalia," 15 Nov. 2011 Residents near the site of Tuesday’s strike said that there were no military targets near the market, which sold a mild narcotic called khat. Shuaib Almosawa And Kareem Fahim, New York Times, "Warplane Crashes in Yemen Amid Fight Against Houthis MARCH 14, 2016," 15 Mar. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'khat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of khat

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for khat

Arabic qāt

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Cite this Entry

“Khat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for khat


variants: also kat or qat or quat \ ˈkät How to pronounce quat (audio) \

Medical Definition of khat

: a shrub (Catha edulis) cultivated in the Middle East and Africa for its leaves and buds that are the source of a habituating stimulant when chewed or used as a tea

More from Merriam-Webster on khat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with khat

Britannica English: Translation of khat for Arabic Speakers

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