|1.||a woody climbing plant, Piper nigrum, of the East Indies, having small black berry-like fruits: family Piperaceae|
|2.||black pepper See also white pepper the dried fruit of this plant, which is ground to produce a sharp hot condiment|
|3.||cubeb betel See kava any of various other plants of the genus Piper|
|4.||bird pepper sweet pepper red pepper See also cayenne pepper Also called: capsicum any of various tropical plants of the solanaceous genus Capsicum, esp C. frutescens, the fruits of which are used as a vegetable and a condiment|
|5.||the fruit of any of these capsicums, which has a mild or pungent taste|
|6.||the condiment made from the fruits of any of these plants|
|7.||any of various similar but unrelated plants, such as water pepper|
|8.||to season with pepper|
|9.||to sprinkle liberally; dot: his prose was peppered with alliteration|
|10.||to pelt with small missiles|
|[Old English piper, from Latin, from Greek peperi; compare French poivre, Old Norse piparr]|
(Capsicum), any of a great number of plants of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, notably Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens, and C. boccatum, extensively cultivated throughout tropical Asia and equatorial America for their edible, pungent fruits. Peppers, which have been found in prehistoric remains in Peru, were widely grown in Central and South America in pre-Columbian times. Pepper seeds were carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread rapidly throughout Europe.
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