- the dried leaf of the tea shrub, used to make tea
- (usually plural) shredded parts of these leaves, esp after infusion
- British and Australian slang a thief
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
Examples from the Web for tea-leaf
This contest is already being used as a proxy for the November general election, with tea-leaf reading being in ample supply.Scott Walker Won Because He Took Action Against Soaring Pension Costs
June 6, 2012
The only problem with all the tea-leaf reading that next Tuesday will bring is that it will be meaningless.Why the Democrats Should Lose
October 30, 2009
Her shawl looked particularly like a tea-leaf after long infusion.Little Dorrit
The leaves are large and do not bear the slightest resemblance to the tea-leaf.Three Years in Western China
A good deal of practice is necessary before the tea-leaf symbols can be accurately interpreted at a glance.
A wide, shallow cup is the best kind to use for tea-leaf divination—white if possible.
The tea-leaf symbols are obstinately unfavourable, and display ominous signs of forthcoming sorrow.