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  1. full of or tasting like pepper; hot; pungent.
  2. of, relating to, or resembling pepper.
  3. sharp or stinging: a peppery speech.
  4. easily angered; bad-tempered; irritable; irascible: the peppery leader of a political faction.
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Origin of peppery

First recorded in 1690–1700; pepper + -y1
Related formspep·per·i·ly, adverbpep·per·i·ness, nounun·pep·per·y, adjective

Synonyms for peppery

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1. spicy. 3. biting. 4. hot-tempered, hot-headed, testy, choleric.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for peppery

piquant, spicy, pungent, zesty, fiery, hot, poignant, racy, snappy, zestful, acute, angry, astringent, biting, caustic, choleric, cranky, cross, hot-tempered, incisive

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Contemporary Examples of peppery

Historical Examples of peppery

British Dictionary definitions for peppery


  1. flavoured with or tasting of pepper
  2. quick-tempered; irritable
  3. full of bite and sharpnessa peppery speech
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Derived Formspepperiness, noun
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 peppery


1690s, from pepper (n.) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1826. Related: Pepperiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper