• synonyms


[kahy-en, key-]
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  1. a hot, biting condiment composed of the ground pods and seeds of the pepper Capsicum annuum longum.
  2. the long, wrinkled, twisted fruit of this plant.
  3. the plant itself.
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Origin of cayenne

1750–60; short for cayenne pepper, formerly cayan < Tupi kyinha, but long associated with Cayenne
Also called cayenne pepper.
Related formscay·enned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for cayenne pepper

cayenne pepper

  1. a very hot condiment, bright red in colour, made from the dried seeds and pods of various capsicumsOften shortened to: cayenne Also called: red pepper
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Word Origin

C18: ultimately from Tupi quiynha


  1. the capital of French Guiana, on an island at the mouth of the Cayenne River: French penal settlement from 1854 to 1938. Pop: 50 594 (1999)
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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 cayenne pepper



"pungent dried pepper," 1756, from Tupi (Brazil) kyynha "capsicum," mistakenly associated with town of Cayenne in French Guyana. The town name is the French form of Guyana.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper