noun, plural chais [she] /ʃɛ/. French.

a shed or other aboveground building where a winemaker stores wine in casks.




a drink of tea made with cardamom and various other spices, milk, and a sweetener.

Origin of chai

1970-75; < Turkish çay and Russian, Persian, Hindi, Urdu chay “tea,” ultimately from Chinese chá tea Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chai

Contemporary Examples of chai

Historical Examples of chai

  • On the Chai Pass the two aneroids I had on me registered an altitude of 11,190 feet.

    In the Forbidden Land

    Arnold Henry Savage Landor

  • An official, named Chai, was appointed to a post at Jao-chou, and on his way thither crossed the Po-yang lake.

  • But "Can chai la fueilla" is very cleverly made with five, six, and four and seven.


    Ezra Pound

  • My juwa had almost scratched an eye out of the Hindity mushi, and my chai had sent the Hindity childer scampering over the green.

    Wild Wales

    George Borrow

  • "Karim" was still sounding, when I heard a different strain, "Chai chai kirna cha-ee," which was sung in a sonorous nasal voice.

British Dictionary definitions for chai



tea, esp as made in India with added spices

Word Origin for chai

C20: Indian
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

Word Origin and History for chai

"tea," 1919, from the Russian or Arabic word for "tea" (see tea, and cf. cha). Now used especially of spiced teas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper