catnip

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cat·nip

 (kăt′nĭp′)
n.
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).]

catnip

(ˈkætˌnɪp)
n
(Plants) another name for catmint

cat•nip

(ˈkæt nɪp)

n.
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]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catnip - hairy aromatic perennial herb having whorls of small white purple-spotted flowers in a terminal spikecatnip - 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
genus Nepeta, Nepeta - catmint
Translations
kattenkruidNepeta
References in classic literature ?
Beth had old-fashioned fragrant flowers in her garden, sweet peas and mignonette, larkspur, pinks, pansies, and southernwood, with chickweed for the birds and catnip for the pussies.
The neighbour ran, and in came a brisk little old lady in cap and specs, with a bundle of herbs under her arm, which she at once applied in all sorts of funny ways, explaining their virtues as she clapped a plantain poultice here, put a pounded catnip plaster there, or tied a couple of mullein leaves round the sufferer's throat.
A fisherman, it is true, had noticed her little footprints in the sand, as he went homeward along the beach with a basket of fish; a rustic had seen the child stooping to gather flowers; several persons had heard either the rattling of chariot wheels, or the rumbling of distant thunder; and one old woman, while plucking vervain and catnip, had heard a scream, but supposed it to be some childish nonsense, and therefore did not take the trouble to look up.