pen·​ny·​roy·​al | \ ˌpen-ē-ˈrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce pennyroyal (audio) , ˈpe-ni-ˌrī(-ə)l How to pronounce pennyroyal (audio) \

Definition of pennyroyal

1 : a European perennial mint (Mentha pulegium) with small aromatic leaves
2 : an aromatic North American mint (Hedeoma pulegioides) that has blue or violet flowers borne in axillary tufts and yields an oil used in folk medicine or to drive away mosquitoes

Examples of pennyroyal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many women turned to herbal remedies such as pennyroyal, which were often effective in terminating pregnancy but could also be toxic. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How accurate is ‘Bridgerton’s’ tale of sex and scandal in Regency England? We asked," 25 Dec. 2020 The findings, published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Entomology, revealed that the most popular plant species among the bees were Oregon checker-mallow and mountain pennyroyal flowers. Kristen Rogers And David G. Allan, CNN, "If you want to save bumble bees, plant these flowers in your yard," 28 Jan. 2020 Another of Portugal’s cookbook mainstays, Vítor Sobral has opened modestly priced, casual tascas in Lisbon and Brazil that hew closer to traditional flavors yet with lightness and flair, such as Azorean tuna with mango, peppers, and pennyroyal. Anne Farrar, National Geographic, "Here’s why everyone is going to Portugal now," 18 June 2019 Anecdotal evidence shows that cats dislike the smell of lavender, pennyroyal, rue, lemon thyme and Coleus canina (also called scaredy cat plant). Kym Pokorny,, "How to keep cats out of your garden," 17 Apr. 2018 Among the essential oils that are toxic to pets are cinnamon, citrus, lemon, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen and ylang ylang. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Anxieties about veterinary visits can and should be addressed | The Sacramento Bee," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pennyroyal.' 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 pennyroyal

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pennyroyal

probably alteration of Anglo-French puliol real, from puliol pennyroyal (ultimately from Latin puleium) + real royal

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Time Traveler for pennyroyal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pennyroyal was in 1530

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Statistics for pennyroyal

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pennyroyal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pennyroyal


pen·​ny·​roy·​al | \ ˌpen-ē-ˈrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce pennyroyal (audio) , ˈpen-i-ˌrīl How to pronounce pennyroyal (audio) \

Medical Definition of pennyroyal

: any of several mints especially : an aromatic American mint (Hedeoma pulegioides) that yields pennyroyal oil

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