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

Logs crackled in the stone fireplace at Mount Rainier’s National Park Inn, with tea and scones on a side table. Carol Pucci, The Seattle Times, "For a visit without the crowds, head to Mount Rainier in winter," 20 Feb. 2019 Mornings begin with a cup of English breakfast tea and a green protein smoothie. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "The Fitness Plan for Serious Schmoozers," 16 Feb. 2019 The Cauldryn Coffee travel mug does just that, keeping your tea and coffee at the ideal temperature all day. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Your Tea Will Never Go Cold Again With This Smart Travel Mug," 11 Feb. 2019 Nearby • Visit Wing on Wo & Co. to buy a teapot, and then hit GTW Tea and Water on Grand Street, which sells teas and Buddhist goods like incense and wooden altars. New York Times, "Things to Do in NYC: Astoria for a Pool Day, and Open-Mic Night Plus Dumplings in Chinatown," 12 July 2018 Fireside Pies combines them in the salad, and also serves peach tea and a peach crisp dessert. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Where to find peach dishes away from the Weatherford festival crowd," 10 July 2018 Guests who attended Prince Louis’s christening on Monday were served tea and fruit cake, which was originally baked for and served at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "Here's Why Kate and William Served Their 7-Year-Old Wedding Cake at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 House cocktails figure to be a little more unorthodox, including a bourbon sweet tea and a drink made with Coca-Cola, peanuts and undetermined liquor. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Fried chicken joint with Southern cocktails to open along R Street Corridor," 27 June 2018 Worlds Grocer also will have a deli, liquor section, boba tea and fresh seasonal drinks such as fresh coconut juice. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "New owners remodeling midtown's former Thriftway for Worlds Grocer," 26 June 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.

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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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