- any plant of the genus Capsicum, of the nightshade family, as C. annuum, the common pepper of the garden, occurring in many varieties.
- the fruit of such a plant or some preparation of it, used as a condiment and intestinal stimulant.
- any tropical American plant of the solanaceous genus Capsicum, such as C. frutescens, having mild or pungent seeds enclosed in a pod-shaped or bell-shaped fruit
- the fruit of any of these plants, used as a vegetable or ground to produce a condiment
genus of pepper plants, 1660s, of unknown origin, a word said to have been chosen by French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708); perhaps irregularly formed from Latin capsa “box” (see case (n.2)).