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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).]
(Plants) another name for catmint
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]
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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