a colorless, crystalline, bitter compound, C 18 H 27 NO 3 , present in capsicum.

1885–90; earlier capsicine, equivalent to capsic(um) + -ine2; refashioned with capsa- (< Latin: box) for caps- and -in2 for -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
capsaicin (kæpˈseɪɪsɪn)
a colourless crystalline bitter alkaloid found in capsicums and used as a flavouring in vinegar and pickles. Formula: C18H27O3N
[C19 capsicine, from capsicum + -ine²; modern form refashioned from Latin capsa box, case + -in]

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Word Origin & History

from capsicum, from which it is extracted + chemical suffixes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

capsaicin cap·sa·i·cin (kāp-sā'ĭ-sĭn)
A colorless, pungent, crystalline compound that is derived from the capsicum pepper and is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
capsaicin   (kāp-sā'ĭ-sĭn)  Pronunciation Key 
A colorless, extremely pungent, crystalline compound that is the primary active principle producing the heat of red peppers. It is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes and is used in medicine as a topical analgesic. Capsaicin is highly stable, retaining its potency for long periods and despite cooking or freezing. Chemical formula: C18H27NO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


the most abundant of the pungent principles of the red pepper (Capsicum). It is an organic nitrogen compound belonging to the lipid group, but it is often erroneously classed among the alkaloids, a family of nitrogenous compounds with marked physiological effects

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The other thing that works pretty well is extra strength capsaicin cream.
It's why you feel pain when you touch something hot or taste something with
Scientists have known for some time that it is a compound known as capsaicin
  that gives chili peppers their kick.
They also know that capsaicin is an effective blocker.
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