1North American Any several North American shrubs whose leaves can be used to make a drink resembling tea; especially yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) or Labrador tea (genus Ledum).
2Tea grown in India or Sri Lanka, especially black tea from Assam or the Darjeeling district.
In early use also with reference to tea grown in China: see note at "Indian".
Early 18th century; earliest use found in John Lawson (d. 1711), surveyor. From Indian + tea.