• synonyms


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

1810–20; < Polynesian (first recorded from Tonga Islands)
Also called ka·va·ka·va, ka·va-ka·va.
Related formsKa·va·ic [kuh-vey-ik] /kəˈveɪ ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for kava


  1. a Polynesian shrub, Piper methysticum: family Piperaceae
  2. a drink prepared from the aromatic roots of this shrub
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Word Origin

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