a cup in which tea is served, usually of small or moderate size.


    tempest in a teacup/teapot, a disturbance or uproar about little or nothing: The fight over who should become the next assistant treasurer of the organization is just a tempest in a teacup.Also storm in a teacup.

Origin of teacup

First recorded in 1690–1700; tea + cup
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for teacup

Contemporary Examples of teacup

Historical Examples of teacup

  • "Of course I shall," she sobbed, while some tears dropped into Geoff's teacup.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • "Only women cut their wisdom teeth on a teacup," Miss Gannion observed.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • I had not thought of this, and I was afraid for the life of me to withdraw the teacup.


    David Christie Murray

  • The old lady also stared, her teacup suspended under her nose.

  • The Rector came towards her at once with a teacup in his hand.

    The Country House

    John Galsworthy

British Dictionary definitions for teacup



a cup out of which tea may be drunk, larger than a coffee cup
Also called: teacupful the amount a teacup will hold, about four fluid ounces
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