Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A dioecious shrub (Piper methysticum) native to the Pacific islands, having cordate leaves and minute flowers clustered in solitary spikes.
  • n. A dietary supplement derived from the roots of this plant, used as a sedative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant from the South Pacific, Piper methysticum.
  • n. An intoxicating beverage made from the kava plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of Macropiper (Macropiper methysticum), the long pepper, from the root of which an intoxicating beverage is made by the Polynesians, by a process of mastication; also, the beverage itself.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Polynesian shrub, Macropiper latifolium (Piper methysticum), of the pepper family.
  • n. A beverage derived from this plant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an alcoholic drink made from the aromatic roots of the kava shrub

Etymologies

Tongan, acrid, kava.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Tongan kava, in turn from Proto-Polynesian *kawa (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The findings underscore the need to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of such therapies, especially given the findings that some Americans are continuing to try products such as kava kava, which is used to treat anxiety but has been linked to possible liver problems, officials said.

    Alternative Remedies Gaining Popularity

  • After the feast was over, we had kava, and the calling of the kava was a very elaborate affair, and I thought had like to have made

    Vailima Letters

  • Again a beautiful tappa cloth was spread for me, and then ten maidens entered, and, sitting in a semi-circle, began to chew a root called kava, which, when sufficiently masticated, they returned into a calabash, water being poured on the result.

    Cumner's Son and Other South Sea Folk — Volume 04

  • An expert on herbal products and remedies, she said "If you have a predisposition to liver disease and are on medications that might affect the liver, then kava, which is also in some of these drinks, might not be the best for you."

    CBS 4 - South Florida's Source for Breaking News, Weather, and Sports

  • Such products include black cohosh and red clover, used by menopausal women to reduce hot flashes, and kava, which is used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • Consumers could be putting their health at risk by using products like black cohosh and red clover, used by menopausal women to reduce hot flashes, and kava, which is used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

    dailyindia.com News Feed

  • After his 2008 coronation, which was celebrated with a narcotic brew called kava and offerings of pigs, the King renounced most of his power in favor of increased control by Tonga's prime minister and eventual parliamentary elections for the nation, an archipelago of 171 islands south of Western Samoa.

    the latest from teenvogue.com

  • A short way into the forest is a platform where it is believed, on a night in October denoted by lunar phases, the souls gather to drink ava (the muddy drink make from the pepper plant also known as kava).

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  • (and John) constantly used a very toxic though only mildly-euphoric narcotic called kava, something Europeans usually have no genetic resistance to.

    How and When to Be Your Own Doctor

  • In Tonga, we have a traditional ceremonial drink called 'kava', which is an integral part of our cultural heritage.

    Twitter, and the Inspiration of Iconic88

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Comments

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  • Accentless, this is coffee in Slovene, as well as in BCSM (Bosno-Croato-Serbo-Montenegrin).

    March 7, 2009

  • The Czech and Slovak is actually káva.

    March 7, 2009

  • Lithuanian language for coffee.

    March 7, 2009

  • "'...somebody told Emily how the kava she had drunk was made.'

    "'Then she is now wiser than I am.'

    "'Why, they sit round an enormous pot, chewing kava-root, and when it is chewed enough they spit it in, going on until there are gallons of it; and then they let it ferment. The notion made her vomit; though it is true she had already eaten an extraordinary amount of sugar-cane...'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Truelove, 174

    March 11, 2008