capsaicin

noun
cap·​sa·​i·​cin | \ kap-ˈsā-ə-sən How to pronounce capsaicin (audio) \

Definition of capsaicin

: a colorless irritant phenolic amide C18H27NO3 found in various capsicums that gives hot peppers their hotness and that is used in topical creams for its analgesic properties

Examples of capsaicin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Julius decided to figure out how capsaicin, the molecule responsible for making chili peppers spicy, induces the often painful burning sensation that can accompany a few too many Hatch green chilies. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "2020 Breakthrough Prizes: Who won this year's 'Oscars of science'?," 5 Sep. 2019 There are chemical deterrents, including peppermint and capsaicin, that should be used with caution. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Are there non-lethal ways of controlling Bay Area’s rat population?," 9 Aug. 2019 Chilies, which is a key ingredient in most hot sauces, contain a phytonutrient called capsaicin. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Chrissy Teigen Says She Went to the Hospital After Eating Spicy Wings on ‘Hot Ones’—How Does That Happen?," 26 June 2019 In July of 2017, an FDA investigator visited a facility in northeastern China where Zhejiang Bangli Medical Products manufactured lidocaine and capsaicin skin patches for treating pain. Katherine Eban, WIRED, "8 Ways Overseas Drug Manufacturers Dupe the FDA," 7 Aug. 2019 This is where most of the heat lives (in the form of the chemical compound capsaicin), so if that’s not your speed, go ahead and toss ‘em. Alex Pastron, Bon Appétit, "The Best Guacamole Is the Guacamole You Make Yourself," 26 July 2019 The spicier the pepper, the higher its level of capsaicin. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Chrissy Teigen Says She Went to the Hospital After Eating Spicy Wings on ‘Hot Ones’—How Does That Happen?," 26 June 2019 Take chili peppers, which contain a compound called capsaicin. Abby Langer, SELF, "5 Diet Tips You Should Ignore, According to a Registered Dietitian," 6 Sep. 2018 Zesty items like hot peppers and red hot chili flakes get their heat from a group of molecules called capsaicinoids, specifically one known as capsaicin. Sophie Saint Thomas, SELF, "Here's Exactly What to Do If You Get Something Spicy on Your Vulva or Vagina," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capsaicin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capsaicin

1876, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for capsaicin

alteration of earlier capsicine, capsicin "material extracted from cayenne pepper," borrowed from German Capsicin, from New Latin Capsicum capsicum + German -in -in entry 1

Note: Name introduced by the British physician and chemist John Clough Thresh (1850-1932) in "Capsaicin, the Active Principle of Capsicum Fruits," The Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions, 3. series, Vol. 7 (July 3, 1876), p. 21. Thresh altered the name more or less arbitrarily, presumably to prevent confusion with the name for the earlier mixture, the impurity of which he demonstrated. German Capsicin appears to have been introduced by the chemist Christian Friedrich Buchhol(t)z in "Chemische Untersuchung der trockenen reifen spanischen Pfeffers," Almanach oder Taschenbuch für Scheidekünstler und Apotheker, vol. 37 (1816), pp. 1-30.

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Dictionary Entries near capsaicin

caprylin

caprylyl

caps

capsaicin

capsanthin

cap screw

cap scuttle

Statistics for capsaicin

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for capsaicin

The first known use of capsaicin was in 1876

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More Definitions for capsaicin

capsaicin

noun
cap·​sa·​icin | \ kap-ˈsā-ə-sən How to pronounce capsaicin (audio) \

Medical Definition of capsaicin

: a colorless irritant phenolic amide C18H27NO3 found in various capsicums that gives hot peppers their hotness and that is used in topical creams for its analgesic properties — see zostrix

More from Merriam-Webster on capsaicin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about capsaicin

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