- any plant of the genus Capsicum, of the nightshade family, as C. annuum, the common pepper of the garden, occurring in many varieties.
- the fruit of such a plant or some preparation of it, used as a condiment and intestinal stimulant.
Origin of capsicum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for capsicum
This is the chilli; the pepper-pods of that name, a species of capsicum; the guinea-pepper.Mexico
Charles Reginald Enock
Capsicum's dinners were more profuse, Gingham's more recherchs.
Capsicum, on the other hand, had resources which Gingham had not.
Mr Thresh succeeded in obtaining an alkaloid from the capsicum, but this was entirely wanting in acridity and pungency.
A few drops (15 to 30) of ether, with a little tincture of capsicum or spirit of sal volatile, seldom fail to give relief.
- any tropical American plant of the solanaceous genus Capsicum, such as C. frutescens, having mild or pungent seeds enclosed in a pod-shaped or bell-shaped fruit
- the fruit of any of these plants, used as a vegetable or ground to produce a condiment
See also pepper (def. 4)
C18: from New Latin, from Latin capsa box, case ²
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
Word Origin and History for capsicum
genus of pepper plants, 1660s, of unknown origin, a word said to have been chosen by French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708); perhaps irregularly formed from Latin capsa "box" (see case (n.2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper