from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An aromatic woolly plant (Origanum dictamnus) in the mint family, native to Crete and formerly believed to have magical powers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A common name in England for the plant Dictamnus albus.
  • noun In the United States, Cunila Mariana, a fragrant labiate of the Atlantic States.
  • noun A labiate, Origanum Dictamnus, the so-called dittany of Crete.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A plant of the Mint family (Origanum Dictamnus), a native of Crete.
  • noun The Dictamnus Fraxinella. See dictamnus.
  • noun In America, the Cunila Mariana, a fragrant herb of the Mint family.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany A labiate plant, Origanum dictamnus, formerly renowned for its medicinal properties; dittany of Crete.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun Eurasian perennial herb with white flowers that emit flammable vapor in hot weather


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English ditaine, from Old French ditan, from Latin dictamnus, from Greek diktamnon, perhaps after Mount Diktē, (Dhíkti), a peak in eastern Crete.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French ditan (French dictame), from Latin dictamnum, from Ancient Greek δίκταμνον (diktamnon), reportedly from Δικτή (Diktē, "Dicte"), a mountain in Crete on whose slopes the plant grew.


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  • Lol, love the definition. So much for sneaking out for a fag in the garden.

    April 15, 2008

  • Also called fraxinella or "gas plant." I think I'll pass.

    Oh...sorry. That was horribly accidental.

    April 15, 2008

  • Right.

    April 15, 2008

  • Usage on confectio Damocritis. Also on eyebright.

    October 16, 2008

  • past tense response to questioning of non question: "oh no he didn't"

    example: dittany he just steal my slim jim?

    June 19, 2010

  • Hermione used this on Ron's arm after he got splinched.

    June 26, 2012

  • The brewing herbs and spew of ocean

    The witches list with fierce devotion.

    There's eel tongue and dittany

    In that potent litany.

    The chant is stronger than the potion.

    March 26, 2015

  • "Neckam takes us right into the warmth of a high-class kitchen in the twelfth century, but he gives us more than a list of equipment, recommending cumin sauce for stewed ham, mentioning three kinds of sausage (andulyes, saucistres and pudingis) and giving fine directions for roasting pork with a little salt to make its rind really crunchy. In a separate work on horticulture called De naturis rerum, he catalogued an expanding range of tasty culinary herbs including parsley, fennel, coriander, sage, savory, hyssop, mint, sorrel, thyme, saffron, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuce, garden cress and the strong-smelling rue also used to treat snakebite and poor eyesight. Rosemary would arrive in the 1340s with Queen Philippa, but pumpkins, cucumbers and spinach-like orache were now cultivated in kitchen gardens, and we can assume that turnips and woody carrots known as skirrets were grown, though oddly they did not begin to appear in gardening treatises until the fifteenth century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 48

    January 8, 2017