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[kap-sey-uh-sin] /kæpˈseɪ ə sɪn/
a colorless, crystalline, bitter compound, C 18 H 27 NO 3 , present in capsicum.
Origin of capsaicin
1885-90; earlier capsicine, equivalent to capsic(um) + -ine2; refashioned with capsa- (< Latin: box) for caps- and -in2 for -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for capsaicin
Contemporary Examples
  • And contrary to the belief that eating spicy foods can cause stomach ulcers, capsaicin is reported to hold digestive benefits.

Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for capsaicin


a colourless crystalline bitter alkaloid found in capsicums and used as a flavouring in vinegar and pickles. Formula: C18H27O3N
Word Origin
C19 capsicine, from capsicum + -ine²; modern form refashioned from Latin capsa box, case + -in
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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Word Origin and History for capsaicin

from capsicum, from which it is extracted + chemical suffixes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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capsaicin in Medicine

capsaicin cap·sa·i·cin (kāp-sā'ĭ-sĭn)
A colorless, pungent, crystalline compound that is derived from the capsicum pepper and is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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capsaicin in Science
A colorless, extremely pungent, crystalline compound that is the primary active principle producing the heat of red peppers. It is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes and is used in medicine as a topical analgesic. Capsaicin is highly stable, retaining its potency for long periods and despite cooking or freezing. Chemical formula: C18H27NO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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