n. & v.
1 a (in full tea plant) an evergreen shrub or small tree, Camellia sinensis, of India, China, etc. b its dried leaves.
2 a drink made by infusing tea-leaves in boiling water.
3 a similar drink made from the leaves of other plants or from another substance (camomile tea; beef tea).
4 a a light afternoon meal consisting of tea, bread, cakes, etc. b Brit. a cooked evening meal.
—v. (teaed or tea'd)
1 intr. take tea.
2 tr. give tea to (a person).
Phrases and idioms:
tea and sympathy colloq. hospitable behaviour towards a troubled person. tea bag a small perforated bag of tea for infusion. tea-ball esp. US a ball of perforated metal to hold tea for infusion. tea-bread light or sweet bread for eating at tea. tea break Brit. a pause in work etc. to drink tea. tea caddy a container for tea. tea ceremony an elaborate Japanese ritual of serving and drinking tea, as an expression of Zen Buddhist philosophy. tea chest a light metal-lined wooden box in which tea is transported. tea cloth = tea towel. tea cosy a cover to keep a teapot warm. tea dance an afternoon tea with dancing. tea garden a garden in which afternoon tea is served to the public. tea lady a woman employed to make tea in offices etc. tea-leaf
1 a dried leaf of tea, used to make a drink of tea.
2 (esp. in pl.) these after infusion or as dregs.
3 rhymingsl. a thief. tea party a party at teatime. tea-planter a proprietor or cultivator of a tea plantation. tea rose a hybrid shrub, Rosa odorata, with a scent resembling that of tea. tea towel a towel for drying washed crockery etc. tea-tree Austral. & NZ an aromatic evergreen flowering shrub, Leptospermum scoparium, the manuka. tea trolley (US wagon) a small wheeled trolley from which tea is served.
Etymology: 17th-c. tay, tey, prob. f. Du. tee f. Chin. (Amoy dial.) te, = Mandarin dial. cha

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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(especially of the dried leaves of the tea-plant), / ,

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