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dittany

[dit-n-ee] /ˈdɪt n i/
noun, plural dittanies.
1.
a Cretan plant, Origanum dictamnus, of the mint family, having spikes of purple flowers and formerly believed to have medicinal qualities.
2.
Also called stone mint. a North American plant, Cunila origanoides, of the mint family, bearing clusters of purplish flowers.
3.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English ditane, detany < Old French dita(i)n < Latin dictamnus, dictamnum < Greek díktamnon, perhaps akin to Díktē, a mountain in Crete where the herb abounded
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dittany
  • dittany and yellow ironweed are reliable producers, but frost flowers grow on other plants, too.
British Dictionary definitions for dittany

dittany

/ˈdɪtənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
an aromatic Cretan plant, Origanum dictamnus, with pink drooping flowers: formerly credited with great medicinal properties: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2.
Also called stone mint. a North American labiate plant, Cunila origanoides, with clusters of purplish flowers
3.
another name for gas plant
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ditan, from Latin dictamnus, from Greek diktamnon, perhaps from Diktē, mountain in Crete
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for dittany

any of several plants: European dittany (see gas plant), Maryland dittany (Cunila origanoides), and Crete dittany (Origanum dictamnus). The last two mentioned are of the mint family (Lamiaceae), order Lamiales. C. origanoides, common in dry woodlands and prairies, was once used as a remedy for fever and snakebite. It attains heights of 30 cm (1 foot) and has mint-scented leaves and clusters of rose-purple to white, tubular flowers. It and 14 other species of Cunila are native in North and South America.

Learn more about dittany with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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