\ 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 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 Meanwhile, the old bar area has now been turned into the lounge, renamed The Gatsby Room, and offers all-day dining and afternoon tea, the latter given a transatlantic twist. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Americans also started substituting one licit drug for another: From the 1820s to the 1850s, tea and coffee consumption more than doubled. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2021 The Japanese rice lager is brewed with jasmine rice, lemongrass, fresh ginger and jasmine green tea. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 14 Sep. 2021 Nothing against the journalists who cover this beat, of course; there are those precious few who’ve turned reading the annual awards-season tea leaves into something like an art form. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 14 Sep. 2021 The 40-year-old in Hillsboro, Ore., was taught from an early age to always avoid free radicals and drink bitter-leaf tea to lower her blood sugar. Ashley Fetters And Gerrit De Vynck, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2021 The concentrated palate adds to the longevity story, with red plum, dark cherry, hints of tea and orange zest unspooling through a lingering finish. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2021 Along with a full restaurant onsite, guests should schedule in time for afternoon tea as well as a dram in the hotel bar, The Peat Cutter. Rachel King, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2021 After Parker's death, the property was bought by tea merchant David Dickson, an informational sheet from Stapleton noted. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2021

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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Buying Guide

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Dictionary Entries Near tea



tea and sympathy

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tea. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for tea



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


\ 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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