Definition of tea in English:


Syllabification: tea


1A hot drink made by infusing the dried, crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water.
More example sentences
  • He was making popcorn on the stove and boiling water for tea.
  • Gaunt mothers and children sat near their tents, sometimes boiling water for tea, a ritual of normalcy that they still maintained.
  • Things have changed from drinking plain tea to water to special solutions but one must know the guidelines.
1.1The dried leaves used to make tea.
More example sentences
  • That time Mary McCormack in her little thatched shop kept flour, tea, sugar, salt, lamp oil, and perhaps some liquorice sweets.
  • Canned meats and fish, as well as flour, tea, and sugar, have become important food items as well.
  • At one end of the market, a few stands sold a variety of local spices, sauces, tea and jams.
1.2 [usually with adjective or noun modifier] A hot drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants: herbal tea fruit teas
More example sentences
  • Fill a large basket with an assortment of goodies from your health food store, such as organic salsa, fruit teas, and tropical-flavored drinks.
  • Let's see - from left to right there's passionfruit, black tea and kumquat teas with tapioca pearls.
  • I served herbal tea to the tea drinkers and fruit juice to the others.
2 (also tea plant) The evergreen shrub or small tree that produces tea leaves, native to South and eastern Asia and grown as a major cash crop.
  • Camellia sinensis, family Theaceae
More example sentences
  • The Camellia sinensis tea plant is native to China and commercially produced in tropical and subtropical regions, primarily China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
  • The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, comes in many forms - black, green, oolong.
  • The filmmaker also found unusual trees: a tea plant, a ban oak, copper beeches, a maidenhair tree in Killarney, and a Kentucky coffee bean tree in Greenside.
3chiefly British A light afternoon meal consisting typically of tea to drink, sandwiches, and cakes.
More example sentences
  • The two princesses had to have a cooked tea because they were in bed by dinner time, but they also had afternoon tea, with sandwiches, scones and a large cake.
  • It was a successful afternoon enjoyed by everyone, which was followed by afternoon tea, consisting of sandwiches and cakes supplied by the choir.
  • That is always assuming that they can fit it all in after having been served up a full buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and home-made cakes and canapés.
3.1British A cooked evening meal. See also high tea.
More example sentences
  • The people were British in their manner, tea was had frequently and the evening meal was called tea, not dinner.
  • I cooked tea for myself a few days ago and managed to eat a very undercooked steak and kidney pudding (it's a long story), and have been feeling a bit rough ever since.
  • I sighed and went to the kitchen, to cook tea with the food that she had promised to buy on her way back from the midwife's.


mid 17th century: probably via Malay from Chinese (Min dialect) te; related to Mandarin chá. Compare with char3.

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Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
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