[kahy-en, key-]


a hot, biting condiment composed of the ground pods and seeds of the pepper Capsicum annuum longum.
the long, wrinkled, twisted fruit of this plant.
the plant itself.

Nearby words

  1. caxton,
  2. caxton, william,
  3. caxtonian,
  4. cay,
  5. cayce,
  6. cayenne pepper,
  7. cayes,
  8. cayey,
  9. cayley,
  10. cayley, arthur

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cayenne pepper

cayenne pepper


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

Word Origin for cayenne pepper

C18: ultimately from Tupi quiynha



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)
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper