Circa 1650, from Dutch thee, from Hokkien 茶 or tê (Amoy dialect), from Old Chinese, ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *s-la (leaf, tea). Introduced to English and other Western European languages by the Dutch East India Company, who sourced their tea in Amoy; compare Malay teh along the same trade route. Doublet of chai and cha (and, distantly, lahpet), from same Proto-Sino-Tibetan root.
tea (countable and uncountable, plural teas)
- The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) or a variety of this plant.
- Darjeeling tea is grown in India.
- The dried leaves or buds of the tea plant, or a variety of such leaves.
- Let's go to the supermarket and buy some Darjeeling tea!
- The drink made by infusing these dried leaves or buds in hot water.
- Would you like some tea?
- Any similar drink made by infusing parts of various other plants.
- We have camomile tea, green tea, and mint tea.
- (in combination) Meat stock served as a hot drink.
- Beef tea has an interesting flavor.
- (UK) A light mid-afternoon meal, typically but not necessarily including tea.
- I invited my wife to tea.
- (cricket) The break in play between the second and third sessions.
- Australia were 490 for 7 at tea on the second day.
In most places tea is assumed to mean hot tea, while in the southern United States, it is assumed to mean iced tea.
- black tea
- boba tea
- bubble tea
- camomile tea
- cream tea
- green tea
- herbal tea
- iced tea
- milk tea
- mint tea
- sun tea
- sweet tea
- tea cosy
- tea leaf
- tea party
- tea room
- tea towel
tea (third-person singular simple present teas, present participle teaing, simple past and past participle teaed or tea'd or tead)
- To drink tea.
- To take afternoon tea (the light meal).
- To give tea.
From Chinese 茶 or chá (tea).
tea (plural teas)
- A moment, a historical unit of time from China, about the amount of time needed to quickly drink a traditional cup of tea. It is now found in Chinese-language historical fiction.
This term is found in English translations of Chinese-language historical fiction, where it is used to give the work an ancient Chinese feel.
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