a plant, Nepeta cataria, of the mint family, having egg-shaped leaves containing aromatic oils that are a cat attractant.
Also, especially British, catmint.

1705–15, Americanism; cat1 + nip, variant of Middle English nep catnip, apocopated variant of Old English nepte < Medieval Latin nepta, variant of Latin nepeta Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
catnip (ˈkætˌnɪp)
another name for catmint

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1712, Amer.Eng., from cat + nip, from O.E. nepte, from L. nepta, an aromatic herb. The older name is M.E. catmint (c.1265).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

CATNIP definition

Common Architecture for Next Generation Internet Protocol

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
As the name catmint suggests, cats adore this close relative of catnip.
Because the meetings are off the record, they are catnip to conspiracy
It all depends on what you do, and how many semi-legal stills you build to
  concentrate the essence of a hundred pounds of catnip.
Commencement speech season is catnip for the blogosphere.
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