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[pep-uh-ree] /ˈpɛp ə ri/
full of or tasting like pepper; hot; pungent.
of, relating to, or resembling pepper.
sharp or stinging:
a peppery speech.
easily angered; bad-tempered; irritable; irascible:
the peppery leader of a political faction.
Origin of peppery
First recorded in 1690-1700; pepper + -y1
Related forms
pepperily, adverb
pepperiness, noun
unpeppery, adjective
1. spicy. 3. biting. 4. hot-tempered, hot-headed, testy, choleric. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for peppery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The goldsmith was a rude, peppery fellow, who did not mince his words.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • He was a small, stout man with a red face and a peppery manner.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • She was a peppery little person, and her temper was up for the moment.

  • Did he prefer to be on good terms with his peppery neighbor?

    Little Brothers of the Air Olive Thorne Miller
  • It was invisible, but Fitz flushed and felt, after his fashion, peppery.

    Fitz the Filibuster George Manville Fenn
  • It will do him no harm, and may cool his peppery blood some!

    Kings in Exile

    Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  • Well that would do him no harm; he knows me, and he knows that I am peppery.

British Dictionary definitions for peppery


flavoured with or tasting of pepper
quick-tempered; irritable
full of bite and sharpness: a peppery speech
Derived Forms
pepperiness, noun
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 peppery

1690s, from pepper (n.) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1826. Related: Pepperiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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