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.
BLACK PEPPER -- (Piper Nigrum.) The article known in this country by the name of black pepper, is the fruit of a tree which grows spontaneously in the East Indies.
The Cherokee Physician, or Indian Guide to Health, as Given by Richard Foreman, a Cherokee Doctor; Comprising a Brief View of Anatomy, With General Rules for Preserving Health without the Use of Medicines. The Diseases of the U. States, with Their Symptoms, Causes, and Means of Prevention, are Treated on in a Satisfactory Manner. It Also Contains a Description of a Variety of Herbs and Roots, Many of which are not Explained in Any Other Book, and their Medical Virtues have Hitherto been Unknown to the Whites; To which is Added a Short Dispensatory.
And, like black pepper, mixed spices have a positive impact on metabolism.