from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The small, dark, unripe fruit of the pepper plant (Piper nigrum), used whole or ground as a pungent spice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The plant Piper nigrum.
  • n. The seeds (peppercorns) of the plant Piper nigrum which are commonly used as a spice and seasoning. They are either used whole, or in a ground or crushed form. (White pepper is made from black peppercorns which have had their dark skins removed.)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. pepper that is ground from whole peppercorns with husks on
  • n. climber having dark red berries (peppercorns) when fully ripe; southern India and Sri Lanka; naturalized in northern Burma and Assam


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • On the third day, it is rubbed with sweet oil, bathed in warm water, and half a pie-weight of garlic, one-quarter pie-weight of black pepper heated in a kin-weight of castor oil is given, and repeated every second day.

    Labor Among Primitive Peoples

  • Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams black pepper 45 grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each 12 grains.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Another intoxicant is “Sabzi,” dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber heed, black pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “Chef’s specials today are sesame-crusted salmon fillet served on a bed of shiitake fried rice with poached scallions and a reduced ginger soy glaze, or sirloin steak gently braised with organic root vegetables from Vermont, black pepper sauce, and—”



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