variants or less commonly qat or kat
: 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 Stories are wrapped around stories that explore the existential situations of Ethiopia’s Oromo people, and the profound role played in their lives by the country’s dominant cash crop — khat — a plant that induces a dreamlike state and permeates the culture. Steve Dollar, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Police confirmed the leafy material was khat. Amy Lavalley,, 24 Aug. 2020 Three men in 2015 became the first ever in New York to go to prison for selling khat, according to published reports. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 4 Dec. 2020 An in-depth view of the euphoria-inducing plant khat, the lives of those who harvest the crop in Harar, Ethiopia, and the people who are addicted to it. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2022 The crops that painted the 12-hour-long drive from Addis to Harar — teff, sorghum and coffee — were now replaced by a green blanket of khat, an ancient stimulant now turned into the most lucrative cash crop. Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Jan. 2022 Cathinone’s occurrence in khat plants, however, does raise one intriguing question: Could these plants contain hidden fungal partners that are actually the engineers behind the compounds? Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 27 May 2021 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, 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, 26 May 2020

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

Word History


Arabic qāt

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of khat was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near khat

Cite this Entry

“Khat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants also kat or qat or quat
: 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

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