The drink that's made by soaking dried leaves in very hot water is called tea. On a hot summer day, many people like to drink iced tea.

Use the word tea for the drink you sip in a cup and also for the dried leaves used to make it. Aside from water, tea is the most common beverage in the world, and it's been around since at least the 28th century BCE, when historians believe it was invented in China. In Britain, tea is also a meal, typically eaten in the middle of the afternoon. Before the 18th century, the word tea was pronounced "tay."

Definitions of tea

n a beverage made by steeping tea leaves in water

“iced tea is a cooling drink”
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cambric tea
a beverage for children containing hot water and milk and sugar and a small amount of tea
cuppa, cupper
a cup of tea
herb tea, herbal, herbal tea
tea-like drink made of leaves of various herbs
ice tea, iced tea
strong tea served over ice
sun tea
tea made by exposing tea leaves steeped in water to the direct rays of the sun; usually served with ice
infusion of e.g. dried or fresh flowers or leaves
Type of:
beverage, drink, drinkable, potable
any liquid suitable for drinking

n 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”
tea leaf
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tea bag
a measured amount of tea in a bag for an individual serving of tea
black tea
fermented tea leaves
green tea
tea leaves that have been steamed and dried without fermenting
Chinese tea leaves that have been partially fermented before being dried
English breakfast tea, congo, congou, congou tea
black tea grown in China
a fine variety of black tea grown in northern India
orange pekoe, pekoe
a superior grade of black tea; grown in India and Sri Lanka and Java
soochong, souchong
a fine quality of black tea native to China
a Chinese green tea with twisted leaves
Type of:
aromatic potherb used in cookery for its savory qualities

n a light midafternoon meal of tea and sandwiches or cakes

afternoon tea, teatime
Type of:
meal, repast
the food served and eaten at one time

n a reception or party at which tea is served

“we met at the Dean's tea for newcomers”
Type of:
a formal party of people; as after a wedding

n 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”
Camellia sinensis
Type of:
bush, shrub
a low woody perennial plant usually having several major stems

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