the berry of the pepper plant, Piper nigrum, dried and used as a condiment, in pickling, etc.
anything very small or insignificant.


(of hair) growing in tight spirals.

Origin of peppercorn

before 1000; Middle English pepercorn; Old English piporcorn. See pepper, corn1
Related formspep·per·corn·ish, pep·per·corn·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peppercorn

Contemporary Examples of peppercorn

Historical Examples of peppercorn

British Dictionary definitions for peppercorn



the small dried berry of the pepper plant (Piper nigrum)
something trifling
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 peppercorn

late Old English, from pepper (n.) + corn (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper