Definitions

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

  • n. An evergreen shrub (Catha edulis) native to tropical East Africa, having dark green opposite leaves that are chewed fresh for their stimulating effects.
  • n. A tealike beverage prepared from the leaves of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A shrub (Catha edulis) whose leaves are used as a mild stimulant when chewed or brewed as tea; also a drug produced from this plant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See kafta.

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

  • n. the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant

Etymologies

Arabic qatt.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic قات. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A lot of time, they're chewing khat, which is this amphetamine-like twig that sort of makes them all tweaked out by the end of the day.

    CNN Transcript Apr 9, 2009

  • Quick research about Somali pirates will reveal a culture dependent on a nausea-killing plant called khat, or 'miraa' in Swahili.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • There is quite a ritual to chewing khat, which is usually done sprawled on the floor, preferably on a carpet or blanket, with cushions to lean on.

    BBC News - Home

  • And they see how countless Somali families are ruined, because the family father is too dependent on khat, which is also helping to support al-Shabaab.

    Islam in Europe

  • Police recovered a drug called khat during a search of the vehicle.

    Tifton Gazette Homepage

  • Among them: chewing the mild narcotic known as khat and trading in drugs and prostitution.

    UNICEF News

  • Yemenis chew a stimulant called khat every afternoon.

    NPR Topics: News

  • The number one product airlifted from Kenya to Somali airports is the leafy narcotic drug khat, which is consumed widely across Somalia.

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  • And everyone smokes khat, which is a leafy plant that temporarily deludes its users into feeling as if their problems are gone.

    ImpeachBush

  • Of all art forms they excelled in, they take pride and cherish their mastery in calligraphy which is called khat in Arabic.

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Comments

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  • The thing is, this word is pronounced quite differently by Ethiopians, Somalis and Yemenis (distinguishing the transliterations "khat" & "qat" doesn't seem to capture this in practice). It would be helpful to note which country/language a recorded pronunciation is meant to refer to.

    January 9, 2011

  • "Hassan wants a catnap and grabs, as a calmant, hash, grass and smack, khat, ganja and tabac — an amalgam that can spark a pharmacal flashback."
    Eunoia by Christian Bök (upgraded edition), p 17

    May 20, 2010

  • agreed. we need 'kh' for /x/ (as 'x' would be horribly misleading)

    July 2, 2009

  • Arabic /qa:t/, Somali jaad, so 'qat' is a better English spelling than 'khat'.

    July 4, 2008

  • Alternate spelling of qat. I like qat much better, though as a rule I do like kh- words... but I like even better q- words that don't have U's following the Q. :)

    March 18, 2008