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 Chiles develop white or brown striations on the flesh when under stress of heat and limited water, which translate to higher concentrations of capsaicin. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 24 May 2021 Be warned this may affect pollinators, because the capsaicin in cayenne is toxic to bees. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 18 May 2021 For three weeks, the researchers had the subjects rinse in the morning and at night with a mouthwash containing capsaicin, the active component in peppers that creates a burning sensation. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Mar. 2021 According to Albert Rizzo, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, bear spray is a type of pepper spray, with an active ingredient — capsaicin — that’s derived from chile peppers. Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2021 In fact, capsaicin (the chemical compound that makes things taste hot) has actually been shown to reduce inflammation. Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored, 4 Mar. 2021 The Chilica-Pod’s results checked out, finding concentrations of capsaicin ranging from 7.5 to 90 micromoles per liter of solution, according to Science News. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Nov. 2020 This chemistry lets the device rapidly detect concentrations of capsaicin. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Nov. 2020 Many of the health benefits have been attributed to capsaicin, Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, tells Health. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, 11 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for capsaicin

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The first known use of capsaicin was in 1876

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Dictionary Entries Near capsaicin

caprylin

caprylyl

caps

capsaicin

capsanthin

cap screw

cap scuttle

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Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capsaicin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capsaicin. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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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