- 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for kava
In a similar vein, kava kava, advertised as a natural anti-anxiety supplement, was taken off the market for causing liver failure.Why Smart People Are Dumb Patients
July 14, 2014
He spends a long time in preparing his kava, and drinks it noisily.Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific
Here they were entertained and invited to join in a kava feast.Notable Voyagers
W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
Kava and the siva are the Samoans' symbols of hospitality, from the lowest to the highest.In the Track of the Trades
Lewis R. Freeman
So, perhaps, the Samoans gave them the coolest of all drinks, kava; and they scored.Letters from America
“Give the kava to the rest,” said Akanga to the daughters of Miru.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI
Robert Louis Stevenson
- a Polynesian shrub, Piper methysticum: family Piperaceae
- a drink prepared from the aromatic roots of this shrub
C18: from Polynesian (Tongan): bitter