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 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pennyroyal

Time Traveler for pennyroyal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pennyroyal was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pennyroyal

Cite this Entry

“Pennyroyal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pennyroyal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pennyroyal Encyclopedia article about pennyroyal

Comments on pennyroyal

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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