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1. A hairy aromatic perennial herb (Nepeta cataria) in the mint family, native to Eurasia and containing an aromatic oil to which cats are strongly attracted.
2. Any of various other mostly aromatic plants of the genus Nepeta, cultivated for their ornamental foliage and clusters of blue, lavender, or white flowers.
[cat + nip, catnip (variant of nep, from Middle English nept, nep, from Old English nepte, from Latin nepeta, aromatic herb, perhaps of Etruscan origin).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Plants) another name for catmint
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a plant, Nepeta cataria, of the mint family, having egg-shaped leaves containing aromatic oils that are a cat attractant.Also, esp. Brit., catmint.
[1705–15, Amer.; cat + nip, variant of Middle English nep catnip < Old English nepte < Medieval Latin nepta, variant of Latin nepeta]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||catnip - hairy aromatic perennial herb having whorls of small white purple-spotted flowers in a terminal spike; used in the past as a domestic remedy; strongly attractive to cats|
herb, herbaceous plant - a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
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