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 Your cat will repay you with hysterical displays of the catnip crazies. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "41 gifts for pets and the people who love them," 19 Nov. 2020 Thyme, sage, catnip, and lavender fall into this category. Dan Gill | Contributing Writer,, "It's a great time to plant a kitchen garden of herbs that will complement your cooking," 4 Nov. 2020 In time Huf expanded to new locations and became catnip for sneakerheads, who waited in line for hours to spend hundreds of dollars on limited-release Nikes or Adidas. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Keith Hufnagel, Pro Skateboarder and Entrepreneur, Dies at 46," 26 Sep. 2020 Questions of process and integrity are catnip for the media. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Bob Woodward’s Critics Are Missing the Point," 10 Sep. 2020 The idea that Biden is a Manchurian president is catnip to Republicans like Pletka for a simple reason. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Does The Washington Post Publish This Never-Trump Drivel?," 17 Sep. 2020 Your cat will go wild over these catnip mouse toys, which nearly 15,000 Amazon shoppers can attest to. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love," 17 Sep. 2020 Not exactly traditional box-office catnip geared to grab the masses. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "How Cuties Got Caught in a Gamergate-Style Internet Clash," 15 Sep. 2020 For me, Japan’s catlore has been nothing short of catnip. Zack Davisson, Smithsonian Magazine, "Japan’s Love-Hate Relationship with Cats," 11 Sep. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for catnip

Time Traveler

The first known use of catnip was in 1712

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Statistics for catnip

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Catnip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for catnip


How to pronounce catnip (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of catnip

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


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


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

Comments on catnip

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