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[pee-koh] /ˈpi koʊ/
a superior kind of black tea from Sri Lanka, India, and Java, made from leaves coarser than those used for orange pekoe.
Origin of pekoe
dialectal Chinese
1705-15; < dialectal Chinese (Xiamen) pek-ho, akin to Chinese báu white + hòu empress Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pekoe
Historical Examples
  • He had been a tea-merchant for a little longer, but had soon tired of pekoe and souchong.

  • The pekoe is a particular kind of tea-shrub, the leaves of which are all black on the one side, and all white on the other.

  • This changes the quality of the pekoe, for these leaves being scarcely formed, can have very little sap or flavour.

  • The best black teas in general use are pekoe and pouchong; the best green teas are imperial, young hyson, and gunpowder.

  • He hunted out a little tea shop, where he meditated over three cups of pekoe and hot buttered toast.

    Kathleen Christopher Morley
  • The second leaves make the tea called "orange pekoe," while the third leaves produce a grade of tea called simply "pekoe."

    American Adventures Julian Street
British Dictionary definitions for pekoe


a high-quality tea made from the downy tips of the young buds of the tea plant
Word Origin
C18: from Chinese (Amoy) peh ho, from peh white + ho down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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