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

  • n. A colorless, pungent, crystalline compound, C18H27NO3, that is derived from capsicum and is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chemical compound found in chilli peppers, which is responsible for their pungent flavor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A colorless crystalline substance extracted from the Capsicum annuum, and giving off vapors of intense acridity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The crystalline, active principle (C18H27NO3) of Spanish and Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum and C. minimum).

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

  • n. colorless pungent crystalline compound derived from capsicum; source of the hotness of hot peppers of the genus Capsicum such as chili and cayenne and jalapeno


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

Alteration (perhaps influenced by Latin capsa, box) of earlier capsicin : capsic(um) + -in.


  • Well, what happens is that that even when - in experimental models, when they give this capsaicin, which is the active ingredient, chronically, you do become desensitized to it, eventually.

    New Frontier For Geeks: The Kitchen

  • One is called the capsaicin receptor, after the stinging substance in red peppers, because it is triggered both by hot air and hot spices.

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  • If you actually take the active ingredient known as capsaicin and put them in a body cream, you could actually ward off arthritis.

    CNN Transcript Feb 28, 2009

  • Speaking of hot, the real heat comes from capsaicin, which is stored in the ribs of these chili peppers.

    Pop Goes The Weasel

  • The product's active ingredient is a synthetic form of the agent that makes chili peppers hot, known as capsaicin.

    The Full Feed from

  • Food scientists have said that hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin that can actually cause your body to heat up.


  • We finally verified the quality of this approach by studying the effects of a pharmacological and a physical agent, namely capsaicin and warmth, respectively.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • A new study conducted by UCLA researchers found that a substance in hot peppers called capsaicin can actually increase our energy expenditure by increasing heat production.

    Scientific Blogging

  • Hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin that not only adds spice to our foods but may actually help us lose weight.

    Scientific Blogging

  • The compound in the spray called capsaicin is derived from chili plants.



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