• WordNet 3.6
    • n tea a light midafternoon meal of tea and sandwiches or cakes "an Englishman would interrupt a war to have his afternoon tea"
    • n tea dried leaves of the tea shrub; used to make tea "the store shelves held many different kinds of tea","they threw the tea into Boston harbor"
    • n tea a beverage made by steeping tea leaves in water "iced tea is a cooling drink"
    • n tea a reception or party at which tea is served "we met at the Dean's tea for newcomers"
    • n tea a tropical evergreen shrub or small tree extensively cultivated in e.g. China and Japan and India; source of tea leaves "tea has fragrant white flowers"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Afternoon Tea Afternoon Tea
The Boston Tea-Party The Boston Tea-Party
woman and tea biscuits woman and tea biscuits
Tea Tea
The "Boston Tea Party." The "Boston Tea Party."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A common drink for Tibetans is Butter Tea which is made out of butter, salt, and brick tea
    • Tea A decoction or infusion of tea leaves in boiling water; as, tea is a common beverage.
    • Tea Any infusion or decoction, especially when made of the dried leaves of plants; as, sage tea; chamomile tea; catnip tea.
    • Tea The evening meal, at which tea is usually served; supper.
    • Tea The prepared leaves of a shrub, or small tree (Thea ChinensisorCamellia Chinensis). The shrub is a native of China, but has been introduced to some extent into some other countries.
    • v. i Tea To take or drink tea.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Americans use about 100 million pounds of tea leaves every year.
    • n tea A product consisting of the prepared leaves of the tea-plant (see def. 2), of various kinds and qualities depending chiefly on the method of treatment. Black tea is manufactured by a process of withering under the influence of light, heat, and air, rolling, fermenting, sunning, and firing (heating with charcoal in a sieve); green tea by a more rapid process without the withering and fermenting, and with more firing. Among the chief black teas are bohea, congou, souchong, caper-tea, oolong, and pekoe; among the green, twankay, hyson skin, young hyson, hyson, imperial, and gunpowder. The gunpowder is the finest green, the pekoe the finest black, both being made from the first pickings—flowery pekoe from leaves so young as to be still covered with down. A third group of teas is known as the scented, generally of poorer quality, flavored with the flowers of the fragrant olive (see Osmanthus), of the chulan, and sometimes of the Cape jasmine (see Gardenia) and of other plants. This classification applies more especially to Chinese teas. Tea became known in Europe during the seventeenth century. Among western nations the greatest consumers of tea are Great Britain, Russia, and the United States.
    • n tea The tea-plant, Camellia theifera, often named Thea Sinensis (or Chinensis). The tea-plant is a shrub from 3 to 6 feet high, with leaves from 4 to 8 inches long and from 1½ to 2½ inches broad, and tapering toward both ends; the flowers are white, and about 1¼ inches broad. The cultivated plant is of a more contracted habit, with smaller, more obtuse, and leathery leaves. The plant is known to grow wild in upper Assam, the form there found having sometimes been distinguished as Thea Assamica, forming, with its varieties, Assam tea. The Assam plant is much superior to the Chinese, and the teas most planted are hybrids of the two. The Chinese tea has two varieties, formerly distinguished as Thea Bohea and T. viridis, black and green tea; but either kind of tea can be made from either plant. China is the great seat of tea-culture; but tea is also extensively grown in Japan, having been introduced in the reign of Saga Tennō (a. d. 810-23), also in India and Java. Promising experiments have been made in Madagascar, Natal, Jamaica, etc. In the United States it can be grown successfully in the South and in California; but the cost of labor has thus far prevented its economic success.
    • n tea An infusion of the prepared leaves of the tea-plant, used as a beverage, in Great Britain and America commonly with the addition of a little milk or sugar, or both, in continental Europe often with a little spirit, in Russia with lemon, and in China and neighboring countries without any admixture. Its action is stimulating and invigorating, and, owing to the presence of tannin, more or less astringent. Its main quality depends upon the alkaloid thein; the leaf contains also volatile oils, which give it its fragrance, and some other substances. Excessive use, especially of green tea, affects the nervous system unfavorably. While tea contains but trifling nutriment, it is held to retard the waste of the tissues and diminish the need of food.
    • n tea A similar infusion of the leaves, roots, etc., of various other plants, used either medicinally or as a beverage: generally with a qualifying word. See phrases below.
    • n tea The evening meal, at which tea is usually served; also, an afternoon entertainment at which tea is served: as, a five o'clock tea. See high tea, under high.
    • n tea Urine.
    • n tea Same as mate.
    • n tea See Psoralea.
    • tea To take tea.
    • tea To give tea to; serve with tea: as, to dine and tea a party of friends.
    • tea See tae.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Australians consume 60% more coffee than tea, a sixfold increase since 1940.
    • n Tea the dried leaves of a shrub in China, Japan, Assam, and Ceylon: an infusion of the leaves in boiling water: any vegetable infusion
    • ***


  • Jaffar Hussein
    Jaffar Hussein
    “Good bankers, like good tea, can only be appreciated when they are in hot water.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “A Christian is like a tea bag -- he's not worth much until he's been through some hot water.”
  • Rupert Brooke
    Rupert Brooke
    “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit it and read it are old women over their tea.”
  • Cynthia Payne
    Cynthia Payne
    “I know it does make people happy, but to me it is just like having a cup of tea.”


All the tea in China - If someone won't do something for all the tea in China, they won't do it no matter how much money they are offered.
Not my cup of tea - If something is not your cup of tea, you don't like it very much.
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? - This idiom is often used when someone says something irrelevant to the topic being discussed.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chin. tshā, Prov. Chin. te,: cf. F. thé,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From South Chinese te (pron. ), the common form being ch'a or ts'a.


In literature:

After a wash-over (I did not ask for a bath for fear of exposing the lack of one) I went down to tea.
"A Poor Man's House" by Stephen Sydney Reynolds
And will they ask me to go to their house to tea sometimes?
"My New Home" by Mary Louisa Molesworth
There was tea and toast and fruit.
"The Place of Honeymoons" by Harold MacGrath
The children were to have tea at the vicarage that day, and Anne had been sent to fetch her.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
However, there's tea coming; perhaps you'll go so far as a cup of tea?
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
A little tea-table had been set in one window, though the tea was cold.
"Not Like Other Girls" by Rosa N. Carey
I am not at all tired; but I am sure it must be tea-time, and I should so like a cup of tea.
"Phoebe, Junior" by Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
Rub smooth one or two tea-spoonfuls of currie powder, a tea-spoonful of flour, and an ounce of butter.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
The agreement does not prevent the merchants from selling tea imported from Holland.
"Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times" by Charles Carleton Coffin
Lalkhan brought tea, and Tony went with him quite meekly to the nursery.
"Jan and Her Job" by L. Allen Harker

In poetry:

Me therefore, Mrs Arden,
And think me not ungrateful
Because I deem most hateful
Tea in the garden.
"Tea In The Garden" by Cicely Fox Smith
But now I know how few and small,
The things we crave need be--
Toys and the universe and you--
A little friend to tea.
"A Dedication To E.C.B." by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
And I'll forget the way of tears,
And rock, and stir my tea.
But oh, I wish those blessed years
Were further than they be!
"Afternoon" by Dorothy Parker
To them a little hard is Fate,
Yet better early than too late;
Fancy getting there forlorn,
With the tea and cake all gone.
"First Arrivals" by Kate Greenaway
SOMETIMES when I am at tea with you
I catch my breath
At a thought that is old as the world is old
And more bitter than death.
"Things" by Aline Murray Kilmer
"Then you shall have some tea, mother,
And bread as white as snow;
You won't be sickly then, mother,
You'll soon get well, I know.
"Who Cares?" by John Hartley

In news:

How Orrin Hatch (almost) beat back a tea party revolt.
Zamora and Granada at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar Saturday, January 11.
More Black Tea , Less Diabetes.
Green tea this, and green tea that, but black still accounts for 90 percent of tea sold in Western countries.
HanGawi, a Korean vegetarian restaurant at 12 East 32nd Street, has introduced a line of fine teas, including Korean wild green teas, under the brand name Franchia.
Chai tea is simply black tea with Indian spices.
If you're not a tea snob, chances are you reuse a tea bag to make a second cup of tea .
Cantaloupe Tea Daiquiri Created by James Labe, hospitality consultant and "tea sommelier" based in California.
Bring a special tea cup to the "Downton Abbey " Christmas tea and discussion at 1 pm Wednesday in the Adamstown Area Community Library along Route 272 in the borough.
In some items, such as the sodas, the green tea or matcha (fine, powdered green tea ) was practically undetectable.
With fierce competition between tea brands, tea bag design has become more innovative.
Steven Smith, founder, Stash Tea and Tazo Tea, Portland, Oregon.
"I will not sit down and shut up," "Protect our borders," and "No bailouts," as the Northern Illinois Tea Party assembled at Davis Park to support the national Tea Party Express movement passing through Rockford Tuesday, April 6.
Through her TeBella Tea Co. Abigail St Clair is teaching people about the leafy treat and giving everyone in Tampa Bay the chance to truly enjoy a spot of tea.
Green tea for anxiety Studies have found that green tea eases anxiety.

In science:

The first, considered by Wheeler, was the apparent unverifiability of the second law of thermodynamics if ob jects such as hot and cold tea were dropped into a black hole [107].
Black holes and black hole thermodynamics without event horizons
One occasionally hears the argument—let us call it the math-tea argument, for perhaps it is heard at a good math tea—that there must be real numbers that we cannot describe or define, because there are are only countably many definitions, but uncountably many reals.
Pointwise Definable Models of Set Theory
In any fixed structure M in a countable language, including the higher-order set-theoretic structures hVα , ∈i, the math-tea argument seems fine: since there are only countably many definitions to use, but uncountably many reals, there will indeed be many reals that are not definable there.
Pointwise Definable Models of Set Theory
But when we make the move as we have discussed to defining reals or other ob jects with respect to the set-theoretic background hV , ∈i, a subtle meta-mathematical obstacle arises for the math-tea argument.
Pointwise Definable Models of Set Theory
Inside such a universe, the math-tea argument comes ultimately to a false conclusion.
Pointwise Definable Models of Set Theory