a small box with perforations in the top, for sprinkling pepper.

Origin of pepperbox

First recorded in 1540–50; pepper + box1
Also called pepper pot. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pepper-box

Historical Examples of pepper-box

  • She had her book upside down, putting the holes in the lid of the pepper-box.

    Emmy Lou

    George Madden Martin

  • In the result one might be pardoned for some uncertainty as to which was coffee-pot and which pepper-box.

    Emmy Lou

    George Madden Martin

  • I suspect I should be the goose and she the pepper-box;—but we never could shape that course.

    Olla Podrida

    Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

  • “It—it looks like a—a pepper-box,” replied Rose, with some hesitation.

  • Hang the pepper-box to his nose, nurse, then he will be a cruet.

Word Origin and History for pepper-box

1540s, from pepper (n.) + box (n.1). Meaning "hot-tempered person" is from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper