catnip

[ kat-nip ]
/ ˈkæt nɪp /
|

noun

a plant, Nepeta cataria, of the mint family, having egg-shaped leaves containing aromatic oils that are a cat attractant.
Also especially British, catmint.

Origin of catnip

1705–15, Americanism; cat + nip, variant of Middle English nep catnip, apocopated variant of Old English nepte < Medieval Latin nepta, variant of Latin nepeta
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catnip

British Dictionary definitions for catnip

catnip

/ (ˈkætˌnɪp) /

noun

another name for catmint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for catnip

catnip


n.

1712, American English, from cat (n.) + nip, from Old English nepte "catnip," from Latin nepta, name of an aromatic herb. The older name is Middle English catmint (mid-13c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper