A genus of the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae), consisting of various strongly aromatic plants, especially herbs, with spikes or whorls of small lilac flowers having four equal stamens and a four-lobed corolla; (also mentha) a plant of this genus, a mint.
The genus includes such herbs as spearmint, Mentha spicata subsp. spicata, peppermint M.× piperita, and pennyroyal, M. pulegium.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philip Miller (1691–1771), horticulturist and writer. From classical Latin mentha mint (adopted as a genus name by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum II. 576, after J. Pitton de Tournefort Inst. Rei Herbariae I. 188).