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

Three more bubble tea/Asian dessert spots are new to Bellevue: Kung Fu Tea, Chatime and Mr. Wish. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "From hot ramen to hotter hot pot: 30 restaurant openings in Seattle and on the Eastside," 28 Nov. 2018 During that time, Bergdorf’s BG Restaurant is offering an English afternoon tea, served up on the new Sailor’s Farewell Wedgwood collection. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Kit Kemp Welcomes Us into Her Fantastical World at Bergdorf Goodman," 19 Apr. 2019 Take a seat and pour some tea because this bit of Prince Will backstory is intense. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Had a "Passionate Romance" With Arabella Musgrave Before Meeting Kate Middleton, According to a Royal Biographer," 3 Feb. 2019 There is a very long tradition here of sitting around with some tea and gabbing, quoting lines of poetry, and arguing politics. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 Yet another commenter spilled some hilariously real tea on the reality of the new collab. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Kylie Cosmetics Is Coming to Ulta for the Holidays," 30 Aug. 2018 Patra, 52, has been selling tea for the last 30 years. Sreoshi Mukherjee, CNN, "Lionel Messi: Indian tea-maker creates shrine to Argentina star," 15 June 2018 Then my dad would walk into the kitchen, pour some tea and bring it to his mother. Nik Sharma, San Francisco Chronicle, "A Brown Kitchen: Paneer paratha and essential Indian flatbreads," 8 June 2018 McAlister’s also features its iced tea, which can be regular or sweet or a combination. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Comings & Goings: Nothing Bundt Cakes, McAlister's Deli expanding to Mokena," 29 May 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

to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!