catnip

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English[edit]

Nepeta cataria flowers
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Etymology[edit]

Compound of cat + Middle English nep, from Old English nepte, from Latin nepeta.

Noun[edit]

catnip (countable and uncountable, plural catnips)

  1. (botany) Any of the about 250 species of flowering plant of the genus Nepeta, family Lamiaceae, certain of which are said to have medicinal qualities.
  2. Nepeta cataria and Nepeta grandiflora (and perhaps other species), which are well-known for causing an apparently harmless pheromone-based intoxication among certain cats.
    Some cats go bonkers over catnip; others ignore it.

Synonyms[edit]

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