Definition of kava in English:


Syllabification: ka·va
Pronunciation: /ˈkävə
(also kava-kava)


1A narcotic sedative drink made in Polynesia from the crushed roots of a plant of the pepper family.
More example sentences
  • In many cultures, men and occasionally women retire each evening to the nakamal to prepare and drink kava, an infusion of the pepper plant.
  • All chief ceremonies, however, regardless of village, culminate in the kava ceremony wherein the candidate drinks kava for the first time as the new chief.
  • Also, avoid combining kava with alcohol or sedatives.
2The Polynesian shrub from which the kava root is obtained.
  • Piper methysticum, family Piperaceae
More example sentences
  • The first version portrays him as parting the sea with a cycas leaf, the second adds soil enclosed in a wild kava leaf and a bamboo flute to the ritual paraphernalia of departure.
  • If you have mood disorders such as depression, currently take mood-altering medication or have Parkinson's disease, avoid the herb kava.
  • My neighbor says the herb kava is a natural way to calm nerves.


late 18th century: from Tongan.

Definition of kava in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day deictic
Pronunciation: ˈdīktik
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...