ja·​la·​pe·​ño | \ ˌhä-lə-ˈpā-(ˌ)nyō How to pronounce jalapeño (audio) , ˌha-, -ˈpā-(ˌ)nō, -ˈpē-(ˌ)nō\
variants: or less commonly jalapeno
plural jalapeños also jalapenos

Definition of jalapeño

: a small plump dark green chili pepper of Mexico and the southern U.S.

called also jalapeño pepper

Examples of jalapeño in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hotter than a jalapeno dipped in Tabasco drying on the front porch on Aug. 28 in Natchez, Mississippi! Q. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Cinderella’s stepsisters (don’t call them ugly) speak out," 8 Nov. 2019 Chefs across the city have embraced goetta as a local product, and some are taking culinary risks with it, spicing it up with jalapeno and cayenne. Mary Bergin, chicagotribune.com, "Goetta’s got it going on in Cincinnati, where chefs get creative with this meat-and-grain mashup," 5 Nov. 2019 The sandwich, which will be available through November, features carnitas, avocado, coleslaw, chipotle mayonnaise and sliced jalapenos on pan de muerto bread from El Bolillo Bakery. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "New Antone’s sandwich inspired by Day of the Dead," 4 Nov. 2019 Menus made up of homemade guacamole, a spicy crab dip with jalapeno and gazpacho. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "Kincade Fire: Rush of memories as residents return, see destroyed homes," 4 Nov. 2019 When the oil is warm, add the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and onion powder. Mark Hyman, NBC News, "What's for dinner (and lunch the next day)? This healthy Turkey Zucchini Lasagna recipe," 3 Nov. 2019 The Huevosdilla is a breakfast quesadilla packed with two-egg omelet with diced bacon, crumbled andouille sausage, pepper-jack cheese, jalapeno and a little roasted red pepper. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Buckeye Beer Engine: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 2 Nov. 2019 Choose from a host of two-handed options, including The Burnin’ Love Burger, made with fried jalapenos, salsa, pepper-jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and chipotle aioli on a jalapeno-cornmeal kaiser roll. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "BOGO burgers and unlimited fries at Red Robin on Tuesday," 1 Oct. 2019 Gently fold in the feta, dill, olive oil, jalapeno, salt and black pepper until incorporated. Los Angeles Times, "New Israeli recipes for Rosh Hashana from Adeena Sussman," 22 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of jalapeño

1931, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jalapeño

Mexican Spanish, from jalapeño, adjective, of Jalapa

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jalapeño

Statistics for jalapeño

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for jalapeño

The first known use of jalapeño was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jalapeño


How to pronounce jalapeño (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jalapeño

: a small green pepper that is very hot and is used especially in Mexican cooking

More from Merriam-Webster on jalapeño

Spanish Central: Translation of jalapeño

Comments on jalapeño

What made you want to look up jalapeño? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speed up the process or progress of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!