catnip

noun
cat·​nip | \ ˈkat-ˌnip How to pronounce catnip (audio) \

Definition of catnip

1 : a strong-scented perennial mint (Nepeta cataria) that has whorls of small pale flowers in terminal spikes and contains a substance attractive to cats
2 : something very attractive

Examples of catnip in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Information's Apple scoop was catnip for critics of U.S. firms and investors with extensive business dealings in China. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 9 Dec. 2021 His mix of virtuosity, sincerity and positivity is a big part of what made Batiste catnip for Grammy voters. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2021 The entire experience can best be described as Instagram catnip. Brad Japhe, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Well, Black Friday *is* around the corner, and these early-bird deals are seasonal catnip for savvy shoppers. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 12 Nov. 2021 But its mix of gravitas, sentimentality, salty wit, tragedy, and roman à clef storytelling is most definitely Academy catnip. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2021 CeraVe skin products, a cleaning paste called The Pink Stuff, catnip called Cat Crack and certain pair of now-famous leggings. Scott Nover, Quartz, 28 Sep. 2021 While Montgomery’s brash, colorative works from a decade ago have been string-ensemble catnip for years, other Ear Taxi concerts showcased her more recent preoccupations. Hannah Edgar, chicagotribune.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Millennial catnip Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been drafted in, presumably to up the ante on the double entendres, and perhaps bring about a kind of colloquial modernity that Bond has never quite nailed. Raven Smith, Vogue, 30 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catnip.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of catnip

1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for catnip

cat entry 1 + obsolete nep catnip, from Middle English, from Old English nepte, from Latin nepeta

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best cat food.

Learn More About catnip

Dictionary Entries Near catnip

catnapper

catnip

Cato

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for catnip

Last Updated

16 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Catnip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catnip. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for catnip

catnip

noun

English Language Learners Definition of catnip

: a type of mint that has a strong smell which is attractive to cats

catnip

noun
cat·​nip | \ ˈkat-ˌnip How to pronounce catnip (audio) \

Kids Definition of catnip

: a plant that is a mint with a smell especially attractive to cats

catnip

noun
cat·​nip | \ -ˌnip How to pronounce catnip (audio) \
variants: also catnep \ -​ˌnep, -​nəp How to pronounce catnip (audio) \

Medical Definition of catnip

1 : a strong-scented mint (Nepeta cataria) that has small pale flowers in terminal spikes and contains a substance attractive to cats

called also cataria, catmint

More from Merriam-Webster on catnip

Nglish: Translation of catnip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about catnip

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!