\ 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

Other Words from tea

tealike \ ˈtē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tea (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 The menu will feature pancakes, sausage, coffee, tea and juice. Hartford Courant, 4 Aug. 2022 Improving brain health: One recent review found that drinking coffee and tea may lower your risk for dementia. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, 3 Aug. 2022 Spending every morning with an iced coffee or tea, and every night with a cold, iced drink in hand is the way to go. Annie Burdick, PEOPLE.com, 30 July 2022 The price of the room includes all performances, meals, and basic beverages like drip coffee, tea and non-pressed juices. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 There's also a non-alcoholic version with NA champagne, plus Bloody Marys, beermosas, Anodyne coffee and Rishi tea. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 25 July 2022 There’s also the up-country Tamils who were indentured labor brought over from South India by the British, to work in the first coffee and tea plantations. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 Beyond Barcodes offers a diverse stock of books for all ages, as well as fair trade goods like coffee and tea. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 13 July 2022 These mugs are thermal shock-resistant and made from hefty tempered glass, and the handles will remain cool to the touch no matter how hot your coffee or tea. Tiffany Hopkins, Bon Appétit, 12 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Statistics for tea

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tea. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tea


\ 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


\ 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)



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