Tea vs tee

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The words tea and tee are pronounced in the same way but have different spellings and different definitions. They are homophones. We will look at the difference between tea and tee, their origins and some examples of their use in sentences.

Tea is a drink made from the dried leaves of certain bushes. Some teas such as herbal teas may include dried twigs, berries or fruits. Tea may be served hot or iced. The word tea may also refer to the bushes from which tea leaves are picked. In Britain, afternoon tea is a time to pause during the day and drink hot tea with light refreshments. High tea usually includes a hot dish. Sometimes the word tea refers to the main evening meal. The practice of drinking tea was introduced in Britain in 1644. The word tea seems to have come from many different sources, including the Chinese Min dialect word t’e, the Mandarin Chinese word ch’a and the Malay word the.

Tee refers to the area on a golf course from which the player starts play as well as the wooden peg that the golf ball is placed on when starting play. Tee may also describe a pipe fitting that is shaped like the letter t used to fit together three pipes. Tee is the spelling for the letter t.


Legend has it that the Qing emperor Qianlong favored Longjing tea so much that he planted 18 tea trees in the hills himself. (Forbes Magazine)

“By taking inspiration from ‘breakfast’ afternoon tea, our house speciality will allow our diners to sample a selection of our most popular brunch offerings.” (The Liverpool Echo)

I was another spontaneous stop on a week-long leg of his journey, just like the largest golf tee and his adventure in the washing machine-esque elevators in the St. Louis arch. (The Kansas City Star)