cap·si·cum | \ˈkap-si-kəm \

Definition of capsicum 

1a : any of a genus (Capsicum) of tropical American herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family widely cultivated for their many-seeded usually fleshy-walled berries

called also pepper

b : pepper sense 3b

2 : an oleoresin derived from the fruit of some capsicums that contains capsaicin and related compounds and is used medicinally especially as a topical pain reliever

Examples of capsicum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Consumer Reports also recommends marking an area with mouse-deterrent tape that’s infused with capsicum, the substance that makes peppers spicy. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Paul Ryan says woodchucks 'ate' his SUV -- and he's not alone," 13 July 2018 Yes, the beer does include oleoresin capsicum, the food-grade chili oil and primary ingredient in Mace pepper spray. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "A Pepper Spray Beer That Won't Assault Your Senses," 2 Feb. 2018 Officers ordered inmates to lie on the ground and sprayed oleoresin capsicum, Edge said, commonly known as pepper spray. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Prisoners riot at Seward maximum-security prison," 19 Jan. 2018 According to plastic surgeon Lara Devgan, M.D., M.P.H., many plumping lip glosses contain mild irritants such as capsicum (an ingredient found in chili peppers), cinnamon, or menthol. Sophie Wirt, SELF, "This Is What Lip-Plumping Glosses Are Actually Doing to Your Lips," 11 Dec. 2017 The rest of the time, pepper spray — technically known as oleoresin capsicum, or OC — was used in the general population areas of the prison. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Teen inmate at Wisconsin's Lincoln Hills blasted with pepper spray 12 times in 6 months," 1 Sep. 2017 The capsicum peppers that reached Tunisia in the 16th century after being brought back to Spain from the New World took particularly well to the peninsula’s climate and soil. Jeff Koehler, sacbee, "Sriracha moves over for harissa to shine," 22 Aug. 2017 Paul Delekto talks about oleoresin capsicum, commonly known as pepper spray or OC, and its effects on Marines assigned to the security augment force on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, March 6, 2015. Monty Davis,, "Watch as Denver police recruits are pepper sprayed," 10 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capsicum.' 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 capsicum

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for capsicum

New Latin, perhaps from Latin capsa

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Dictionary Entries near capsicum





capsicum wool



Phrases Related to capsicum

pepper with

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The first known use of capsicum was in 1588

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More Definitions for capsicum


cap·si·cum | \ˈkap-si-kəm \

Medical Definition of capsicum 

1 capitalized : a genus of tropical herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) widely cultivated for their many-seeded usually fleshy-walled berries

2 : any plant of the genus Capsicum

called also pepper

3 : the dried ripe fruit of some capsicums (as C. frutescens) used as a gastric and intestinal stimulant

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