[ kah-vuh ]
/ ˈkɑ və /


a Polynesian shrub, Piper methysticum, of the pepper family, the aromatic roots of which are used to make an intoxicating beverage.
the beverage made from these roots.

Origin of kava

1810–20; < Polynesian (first recorded from Tonga Islands)
Also called ka·va·ka·va, ka·va-ka·va.

Related forms

Ka·va·ic [kuh-vey-ik] /kəˈveɪ ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kava

British Dictionary definitions for kava


/ (ˈkɑːvə) /


a Polynesian shrub, Piper methysticum: family Piperaceae
a drink prepared from the aromatic roots of this shrub

Word Origin for kava

C18: from Polynesian (Tongan): bitter
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