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

  • n. A Eurasian mint (Mentha pulegium) having small lilac-blue flowers and ovate or nearly orbicular leaves that yield a useful, aromatic oil.
  • n. An aromatic plant (Hedeoma pulegioides) of eastern North America, having purple-blue flowers and glabrous leaves that yield an oil used as an insect repellent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant of the mint family, Mentha pulegium, formerly much used in various medicinal treatments and as a flea repellant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An aromatic herb (Mentha Pulegium) of Europe; also, a North American plant (Hedeoma pulegioides) resembling it in flavor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A much-branched prostrate perennial herb, Mentha Pulegium, of Europe and western Asia.
  • n. A plant of the genus Hedeoma; the American pennyroyal. See Hedeoma, and oil of hedeoma (under oil).

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

  • n. erect hairy branching American herb having purple-blue flowers; yields an essential oil used as an insect repellent and sometimes in folk medicine
  • n. Eurasian perennial mint have small lilac-blue flowers and ovate leaves; yields an aromatic oil


Probably by folk etymology from Middle English puliol real, from Anglo-Norman : puliol, thyme (from Latin pūlegium) + real, royal (from Latin rēgālis; see regal).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently an alteration (after penny) of Anglo-Norman puliol royal, from Latin pulegium. (Wiktionary)



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