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teapoy definition


Define the meaning of the English word teapoy below. Teapoy is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



PIE word
A late-18th-century British teapoy, with its lid open (bottom) to reveal tea caddies and a box.[n 1]

Borrowed from Hindi तिपाई (tipāī), Urdu تپائی(tipāi, teapoy), from a merger of Sanskrit त्रिपाद (tripāda, tripod) + Classical Persian سه پای(sih-pāy, tripod), with the spelling of the first element influenced by association with tea.[1] Sanskrit त्रि (tri, three), the first element of त्रिपाद (tripāda), is ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *tréyes (three); while Classical Persian پای(pây, foot), the second element of سه پای‎, is ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pṓds (foot), from *ped- (to step; to walk; to fall; to stumble).



teapoy (plural teapoys)

  1. (originally India) Originally, a three-legged decorative stand or table; now, especially, one with recesses for holding tea caddies and/or a tea service. [from 1820s]
    • 2019, Nancy E. Davis, “Afong Moy Presents Chinese Objects for the Home”, in The Chinese Lady: Afong Moy in Early America, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, part II (The Show), pages 107–108:
      The teapoy, derived from the Hindi/Persian phrase denoting a three-footed table, supported a tea set or tea-related objects. Not all teapoys were tripod-like tables or sold singly. The Carneses imported lacquer teapoys in sets. These sets could be easily stacked in a corner of the drawing room and brought out at teatime to hold a teacup, a set, or a caddy. The Carneses purchased lacquered teapoys sets for four dollars in China and probably sold them for twice that amount in America.

Alternative forms


  • Bengali: টিপাই (ṭipai)
  • Kannada: ಟೀಪಾಯಿ (ṭīpāyi)


See also


  1. ^ From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA.


  1. ^ Compare “teapoy, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022; “teapoy, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading