Teas vs. Tease

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Teas and tease are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the differing definitions of teas and tease, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Teas are drinks 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 teas is the plural form of tea, and 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.

To tease means to make jokes about someone, to make fun of someone. There are different reasons for teasing, some are playful and some are malicious. Gentle teasing indicates a fondness for someone, but teasing can be more vicious, intended to annoy or hurt the subject being teased. The word tease is also used to mean a method of backcombing the hair in order to achieve height in hair styling. Tease also may mean to coax a single thread out of a tangled mess, whether literally or figuratively. Tease may be used as a noun or a transitive verb, related words are teases, teased, teasing, teaser. The word tease is derived from the Old English word tǣsan.


Fat-burning teas are everywhere, and their lure of fast, effortless weight loss can be super tempting. (Prevention Magazine)

The annual January teas hosted locally this year in Claremont are the first in a series of fundraisers by the West End Auxiliary of Children’s Fund. (The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

In short, the tease is a short feature or vignette that runs right before the start of a live-game broadcast. (Sports Illustrated)

Growing up, there were people who told her that she should consider modeling, but there were plenty of others who teased her about being too skinny. (Vogue Magazine)