1The leaves of an Arabian shrub, which are chewed (or drunk as an infusion) as a stimulant.
- Knowledgeable users maintain that chewing khat has more in common with coffee than cocaine.
- Mahdi chews khat, a semi-narcotic leaf that has wired generations of Muslims from the coast of eastern Africa to Yemen at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
- In Somali communities, chewing a traditional stimulant called khat has landed some people in deportation proceedings, since the leaf is now categorized as a controlled substance.
2The shrub that produces khat, growing in mountainous regions and often cultivated.
- Catha edulis, family Celastraceae.
- Ethiopian officials said they are not going to stop farmers from growing khat, but are trying to offer alternatives.
Mid 19th century: from Arabic ḳāt.
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