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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The big opportunity Valued at Rs2,570 crore ($374 million) in 2018, India is now the world’s 10th fastest growing market for specialist coffee and tea retail chains, according to a recent report by market research firm Euromonitor International. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Indonesia’s Wake Cup Coffee is the latest entrant in India’s fast-growing cafe market," 9 July 2019 Miley and Tish are dressed in Victorian-wear while sipping tea. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Signs Miley Cyrus's "Mother's Daughter" Is the Ultimate Feminist Anthem," 2 July 2019 The dinner will be served with a breadbasket of hush puppies and oyster crackers and coffee or tea will be offered afterward. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Dinner and a song at Wick Theatre’s Codfish Ball," 26 June 2019 Turkish coffee, tea, fruit juice, smoothies and soft drinks available. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Balkan House in Hamtramck is metro Detroit's only spot for German-style doner kebab," 13 June 2019 Warsame says one way to mainstream camel milk is to marry it into the local coffee and tea scenes—which is being exported worldwide from countries like Ethiopia. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Camel milk could be the next superfood—thanks to East Africa," 6 June 2019 Some Tibetans are said to sip the high-calorie tea all day long, though that’s mostly restricted to nomads of the higher plateaus above 17,000 feet. National Geographic, "What is a yak?," 26 Mar. 2019 While Dua Lipa was sipping Saturday morning tea in the perfect purple and black two-tone blazer, Ariana Grande was playing around outside in a puffer jacket and fishnet tights. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Dua Lipa, Rihanna, and More Incredible Fashion Moments From this Weekend," 11 Mar. 2019 BUY NOW Harrods Luxury Christmas Hamper, williams-sonoma.com/harrods Spending the holidays sipping tea and eating biscuits in England sounds absolutely magical. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Williams Sonoma Is Bringing Brings Harrods To The U.S. For The First Time," 6 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of tea

circa 1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tea

Chinese (Xiamen)

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up tea? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!