pennyroyal

pennyroyal

[pen-ee-roi-uhl]
noun
1.
an aromatic Old World plant, Mentha pulegium, of the mint family, having clusters of small purple flowers and yielding a pungent essential oil used medicinally and as an insect repellent.
2.
Also called mock pennyroyal. a similar, related plant, Hedeoma pulegioides, of eastern North America, having bluish flowers growing from the leaf axils.
3.
any of several other aromatic plants of the mint family.

Origin:
1520–30; penny + royal; replacing late Middle English puliol real < Anglo-French; Middle French poliol (< Latin *pūlēgiōlum, diminutive of pūlēgium pennyroyal) + real, earlier form of royal

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World English Dictionary
pennyroyal (ˌpɛnɪˈrɔɪəl)
 
n
1.  a Eurasian plant, Mentha pulegium, with hairy leaves and small mauve flowers, that yields an aromatic oil used in medicine: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2.  Also called: mock pennyroyal a similar and related plant, Hedeoma pulegioides, of E North America
 
[C16: variant of Anglo-Norman puliol real, from Old French pouliol (from Latin pūleium pennyroyal) + realroyal]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

pennyroyal
herb, 1530, alteration by folk etymology of Anglo-Fr. puliol real; for second element see royal; first element ultimately from L. puleglum "thyme."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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