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

Like catnip In recent days, some media have seized upon this single line from the paper. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Predictably, online media go nuts over ‘Oumuamua and Harvard scientists," 6 Nov. 2018 That meant those roller coaster moments were often excruciating for Tesla supporters (and catnip for critics), especially because the company was mere weeks away from death at one point, according to Musk himself. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 Part classic New England clam shop and part millennial catnip, The Canteen has something for everyone. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips From Boston," 9 Aug. 2018 In the full spring light, the Mississippi River Basin Model is catnip for geography professors. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 YouTubers punching one another in the face is catnip to the large swath of YouTubers who make videos about YouTube drama. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram’s verification system is useful, fair, and Twitter should copy it," 29 Aug. 2018 Olivia La Roche’s Instagram is catnip for vintage lovers. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Online Vintage Shop Is a Haven for Downtown-Minded Cool Girls," 22 Oct. 2018 Reggie made his way to a catnip plant and nibbled away. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "Reggie the runaway cat, at the center of court custody battle, is back home in Logan Square," 28 June 2018 The lovely kitty cat loves to play with different kinds of toys but is especially fond of feather toys and ones that have catnip in them. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Adopt a dog or cat from metro Phoenix shelters this week," 5 July 2018

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about catnip

Dictionary Entries near catnip

catmint

catnap

catnapper

catnip

Cato

cat-o'-nine-tails

catocala

Statistics for catnip

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catnip

The first known use of catnip was in 1712

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on catnip

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catnip

Spanish Central: Translation of catnip

Nglish: Translation of catnip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about catnip

Comments on catnip

What made you want to look up catnip? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!