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tea leaf

the dried leaf of the tea shrub, used to make tea
(usually pl) shredded parts of these leaves, esp after infusion
(Brit & Austral, slang) a thief
Word Origin
sense 3 rhyming slang
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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  • A good deal of practice is necessary before the tea-leaf symbols can be accurately interpreted at a glance.

  • Her shawl looked particularly like a tea-leaf after long infusion.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Soak a tea-leaf a few minutes in warm water; unroll the leaf and attach it to a white card, for study.

    Commercial Geography Jacques W. Redway
  • The leaves are large and do not bear the slightest resemblance to the tea-leaf.

  • A tea-leaf means the same thing, its length denoting whether the stranger will be short or tall.

    The Myths and Fables of To-Day Samuel Adams Drake
  • A wide, shallow cup is the best kind to use for tea-leaf divination—white if possible.

  • The Colonel was coming round; the rest, or the ointment, or the tea-leaf poultice, had been good for snowblindness.

    The Magnetic North Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)
  • The tea-leaf symbols are obstinately unfavourable, and display ominous signs of forthcoming sorrow.

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