The definition of tea is an evergreen plant grown in some Asian countries, India and in the Eastern United States, or dried leaves or herbs made into a beverage by brewing in boiled water.(noun)
An example of tea is Darjeeling black.
See tea in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: Amoy Chin t'e (Mandarin ch'a)
See tea in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Probably Dutch thee
Origin: , from Malay teh
Origin: , from Chinese (Amoy) te (equivalent to Chinese (Mandarin) chá). Word History: “Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,/ Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea.” When Alexander Pope wrote these lines from The Rape of the Lock in 1714, tea still rhymed with obey. This was true of many words spelled with ea, and it was just about in Pope's time that nearly all these words started changing their pronunciation from (ā) to (ē), as in our modern pronunciation of tea (tē). Most modern English words whose main vowel sound is spelled -ea- were pronounced with long vowels in Middle and Old English. Many of these vowels were shortened in the 16th and 17th century to their modern pronunciations, as in our words dead and sweat. But those words that were pronounced with an (ā) sound in Middle English did not undergo this sound change and kept their long vowels, undergoing the further change in Pope's time to the modern “long e” sound. There were several exceptions to this last sound change, most notably the words break, great, and steak. Interestingly, the old pronunciation is also retained in Irish family names, such as Reagan, Shea, Beatty, and Yeats (in contrast to British family names such as Keats).
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