How To Pronounce Kratom

How to pronounce kratom

How Do You Pronounce Kratom?

Much like most words in the dictionary that have a trickier pronunciation despite how simple they are spelt, Kratom is also usually on the list of these troublemakers. Thus, it’s only natural that you’re here wondering how to pronounce Kratom. 

While there is no official way to pronounce the word correctly yet, we’ll be diving into the slight differences in pronunciation when it comes to Kratom, depending on people and other related factors. Read on!

The Two Differing Pronunciations Of Kratom

As mentioned, there has not been a definite way to pronounce the word Kratom in today’s day and age. But don’t turn your heads yet; while you might be pronouncing it differently than the other person, you’re not wrong!

In addition, although Merriam-Webster may not have the answers you’re looking for, according to the official Oxford dictionary, there are two main differing American pronunciations of Kratom.

Not only does this highlight that there are two ways of saying the word, but it also proves that your recent encounter with pronouncing this word was not wrong after all.


A highly used way of pronouncing the word Kratom in America is Kray-Tum. A pronunciation that is seen rhyming with the name “Tatum.” You’ll also notice that this version makes use of the longer A sound, which is “Ay.” 

While you may see many people use this version of the pronunciation since the longer a sound is seen to be more common in most American accents, it certainly is not the definite or most used type of pronunciation of this word. 


The other popular version of pronouncing Kratom in America is Krat-um, where the word is seen rhyming with the word/name “Atom.” In this version, you’ll notice the utilization of the short A sound, which is the “Ah,” like how you’d say it when you say the word “Cat.”

While this version of pronouncing the word may be more standard when it comes to English word pronunciation, it’s highly unlikely that it would be the first way a fellow American who has never heard the word would say it.

Is Kratom Pronounced Differently In Other Countries?

Remember how we said that there is no definite way to pronounce the word Kratom yet? The tree’s origin is in Southeast Asia, and the locals from various countries there wouldn’t understand the two pronunciations that we just went over since they also use different versions.

Southeast Asia

For starters, most of the locals based in Malaysia go with the word Ketum, where the R is silent and pronounced as Key-Tum or Kay-Tum; this goes for both the tree and the substance it produces. 

On the other hand, in Thailand, another major producer of Kratom, the locals in this country pronounce Kratom as “Kruh-Tome,” with the “tome” being pronounced exactly how it is pronounced in English.

In addition, you’ll find that the locals in Indonesia pronounce Kratom as “Krah-thom.”

Most people argue that the word Kratom should be said exactly like how the locals in Southeast Asian countries say it since the tree grows naturally there. But as you can see, the differing versions of the pronunciation of this word based on countries makes it impossible to coin a definitive way to say Kratom.

Scientific Name For Kratom

Despite the series of pronunciations that come with the word Kratom, often you’ll be in the presence of correction since most people think the word only has one way of saying it, and their way is the “right” one.

If giving everyone who corrects you an explanation of why the pronunciation differs seems like a hassle, which it is, you can always be safe and choose the other option, which is calling it with its scientific name Mitragyna Speciosa.

Much like the word Kratom itself, the first part of its scientific name, Mitragnya, is pronounced in two ways. You can go for either Me-Tra-Ginah or Mi-Tra-Ginah, which utilizes a long “I.”

On the other hand, Speciosa is fairly simple, unlike how it looks, and it is pronounced as Spe-Ciosa, like how you would say “species.” That said, even if you decide to stop using the various pronunciations and opt for this option, in a normal conversation setting, this might not work well for you and might leave people confused instead.

However, it might be advantageous to use this option when you’re buying Kratom from a store. Not only do you avoid being corrected, but you also get to know that the seller is safe since no reputable store that is dealing Kratom would be oblivious to its scientific name.

If the seller looks confused, your best chances are to look for someone who knows what he is dealing with.

Using The Preferred Pronunciation of Kratom

In the end, the best or the proper way to pronounce the word Kratom is to pick a preferred way of saying it. Since multiple pronunciations come with the word, you might often see yourself having a debate with someone who disagrees.

Understand that there is no definitive way of saying it, and both pronunciations, be it Kray-Tum or Krat-Um, are correct, and you are entirely at liberty to pick one that most suits your tongue.

However, do be respectful and use the local way of saying it when you visit the different Southeast Asian Countries.

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