tea

noun
\ ˈtē How to pronounce tea (audio) \

Definition of tea

1a : a widely cultivated shrub (Camellia sinensis of the family Theaceae, the tea family) native to China, northern India, and southeastern Asia and having glossy green leaves and fragrant white flowers
b : the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the tea plant prepared for use in beverages usually by immediate curing by heat or by such curing following a period of fermentation

Note: Tea may be classified according to its method of manufacture (see black tea, green tea, oolong, white tea) or according to the leaf size of the plant it is produced from (see orange pekoe, pekoe, souchong).

2 : an aromatic beverage prepared from tea leaves by soaking them in boiling water
3a : any of various plants used like tea also : a drink prepared by soaking their parts (such as leaves or roots) and used medicinally or as a beverage mint tea an herbal tea
b : tea rose
4a : refreshments usually including tea with sandwiches, crackers, or cookies served in late afternoon
b : a reception, snack, or meal at which tea is served
5 slang : marijuana

Illustration of tea

Illustration of tea

tea 1a

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Other Words from tea

tealike \ ˈtē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tealike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tea in a Sentence

Let's meet for tea tomorrow. That shop does a great afternoon tea.

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet no other political leader is as popular as the 68-year-old Modi, who has nurtured an image as a humble son of a tea-seller single-mindedly dedicated to modernizing the country. Washington Post, "Your Guide to India’s Upcoming General Election," 18 Sep. 2019 Sierra’s Oktoberfest pours a pale amber in the glass and gives off aromas of caramel and Earl Gray tea. BostonGlobe.com, "Here are the two Oktoberfest beers our columnist is drinking in 2019 - The Boston Globe," 17 Sep. 2019 There are also nine different kinds of mimosas, from prickly pear tea to rose petal and lemon. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "Here's when popular Tucson brunch spot Prep & Pastry will open its Scottsdale location," 12 Sep. 2019 Nettles have long had a healthful reputation, and adherents use them in juices or teas to combat arthritis or other ailments. Los Angeles Times, "Don’t pull the weeds in Rainbeau Mars’ edible garden," 12 Sep. 2019 When hybridizers made crosses between polyantha and hybrid tea roses, the resulting larger roses were named hybrid polyanthas, but this name was subsequently changed to floribundas. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Polyantha roses are prolific bloomers and rugged survivors," 12 Sep. 2019 There will be a home-baked goods table, including a large selection of delicious desserts and tea breads. courant.com, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 11 Sep. 2019 The Pantries Chinese tea canisters and glass jars are used for storage in the food pantry. Kathryn O'shea-evans, House Beautiful, "Michelle Nussbaumer Designed Our 2019 Kitchen(s) of the Year," 9 Sep. 2019 Packaged in boxes with auspicious designs, these treats are given to friends, families and colleagues every year as a way to bless the receiver with longevity or harmony, and are often enjoyed together, cut into smaller pieces to eat alongside tea. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "How mooncakes, the ultimate fall pastry, helped me celebrate my Chinese heritage — and where to find them in Chicago," 9 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tea.' 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 tea

circa 1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tea

Chinese (Xiamen)

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More Definitions for tea

tea

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tea

: a drink that is made by soaking the dried leaves of an Asian plant in hot water
: a similar drink that is made by using the dried leaves of another kind of plant
: the dried leaves that are used in making tea

tea

noun
\ ˈtē How to pronounce tea (audio) \

Kids Definition of tea

1 : the dried leaves and leaf buds of a shrub widely grown in eastern and southern Asia
2 : a drink made by soaking tea in boiling water
3 : refreshments often including tea served in late afternoon
4 : a party at which tea is served
5 : a drink or medicine made by soaking plant parts (as dried roots) ginger tea

tea

noun
\ ˈtē How to pronounce tea (audio) \

Medical Definition of tea

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a shrub (Camellia sinensis of the family Theaceae, the tea family) cultivated especially in China, Japan, and the East Indies
b : the prepared and cured leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the tea plant
2 : a mildly stimulating aromatic beverage prepared from tea leaves by infusion with boiling water
3 : any of various plants resembling tea in properties also : an infusion of their leaves used medicinally or as a beverage

Medical Definition of TEA (Entry 2 of 2)

tetraethylammonium

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More from Merriam-Webster on tea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tea

Spanish Central: Translation of tea

Nglish: Translation of tea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tea for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tea

Comments on tea

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