[kap-si-kuh m]


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

1655–65; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin caps(a) case2 + -icum, neuter of -icus -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for capsicum

Historical Examples of capsicum

British Dictionary definitions for capsicum



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

Word Origin for capsicum

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