\ 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 His attorneys describe him as a family man and hard worker with no criminal record who was never caught with any khat. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "North Texas trial looms for men accused of smuggling chewable East African plant," 4 Dec. 2020 In the center of Hargeisa, in a plaza where men while away hours drinking earthy camel milk tea and chewing thick bundles of khat, a local narcotic, and taxis idle waiting for customers, stands an old Somali fighter plane mounted on a tall pedestal. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "How a DIY nation has made it this far," 26 May 2020 In Hargeisa, men gather in informal street-side cafes to drink camel-milk tea and chew khat, a local leafy plant that is a mild narcotic. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "Somaliland’s sportswomen are breaking tape – and barriers," 21 Apr. 2020 Men with no jobs and no purpose loiter in the market chewing khat leaves to escape their dreary existence. Alan Gratz, New York Times, "A Civil War, Then the Long Limbo of Life as a Refugee," 3 Apr. 2020 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

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 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for khat


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

Britannica English: Translation of khat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on khat

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