\ ˈkät How to pronounce khat (audio) \
variants: or less commonly qat 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 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 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, 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, 3 Apr. 2020 The khat is imported by truck from Harar in Ethiopia. Jillian Keenan, Time, 20 Aug. 2019 Even the market selling khat, a mild stimulant used by most Yemenis, had fallen quiet. New York Times, 16 June 2018 See More

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.

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 25 Jun. 2022.

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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


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