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

After ribbons were cut at the three entrances to the coffee shop, those in attendance celebrated with coffee, tea and bagels served by the Tiger Perk staff. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland.com, "Tiger Perk coffee shop at Chagrin Falls High School teaches business skills," 5 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, Morgan also found support in Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, who praised the athlete after her controversial tea-sipping celebration. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Miley Cyrus Praises Alex Morgan After USWNT Star Reveals Which Cyrus Song Is Her Pump-Up Jam," 14 July 2019 Her teammate Alex Morgan, who set a record for most goals in a Women’s World Cup game, became a viral video sensation with her tea-sipping hand gesture during the semifinal game in which the U.S. defeated England. Stephen Battaglio, latimes.com, "Women’s World Cup final draws 15.6 million viewers as the U.S. scores a big win," 8 July 2019 The camera captured fans around the ballpark doing their best imitation of Morgan's tea-sipping celebration. Jenna West, SI.com, "Padres' Minor League Team Introduces 'Tea Party Cam' in Honor of Alex Morgan," 5 July 2019 Not all of it has been soccer-related: From U.S. Captain Megan Rapinoe’s Twitter war with President Donald Trump Twitter war to Alex Morgan’s pretend tea-sipping on live TV, the World Cup has evolved into something beyond a major soccer tournament. Catie Wegman, sun-sentinel.com, "USA vs. Netherlands: Where to watch the Women’s World Cup finals in South Florida," 5 July 2019 Alex Morgan said her tea-sipping celebration at the Women’s World Cup was a nod to actress Sophie Turner’s amusing Instagram posts. BostonGlobe.com, "Lindsey Horan hopes NWSL gets a kick-start," 5 July 2019 On Tuesday, Morgan scored in the 31st minute of the team’s semifinal win over England and celebrated with not-so-subtle tea-sipping gesture. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Depth of Field: Alex Morgan and the Politics of Women in Celebration," 4 July 2019 Alex Morgan's tea-sipping celebration after her goal against England was also knocked. Anne M. Peterson, chicagotribune.com, "Megan Rapinoe says she’s ‘uniquely and very deeply American’," 3 July 2019

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

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!