noun, plural pi·men·tos.

Also called Chinese vermilion, Harrison red, signal red. a vivid red color.

Origin of pimento

1665–75; alteration of Spanish pimiento pepper plant, masculine derivative of pimienta pepper fruit < Late Latin pigmenta spiced drink, spice, pepper, plural (taken as singular) of Latin pigmentum pigment
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British Dictionary definitions for pimento


noun plural -tos

another name for allspice, pimiento

Word Origin for pimento

C17: from Spanish pimiento pepper plant, from Medieval Latin pigmenta spiced drink, from Latin pigmentum pigment
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 pimento

1680s, pimiento (modern form from 1718), from Spanish pimiento "green or red pepper," also pimienta "black pepper," from Late Latin pigmenta, plural of pigmentum "vegetable juice," from Latin pigmentum "pigment" (see pigment (n.)). So called because it added a dash of color to food or drink.

[I]n med.L. spiced drink, hence spice, pepper (generally), Sp. pimiento, Fr. piment are applied to Cayenne or Guinea pepper, capsicum; in Eng. the name has passed to allspice or Jamaica pepper. [OED]

The piece of red sweet pepper stuffed in a pitted olive so called from 1918, earlier pimiento (1901), from Spanish. French piment is from Spanish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper