One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Chemistry. A crystalline alkaloid obtained from pepper plants (especially black pepper and white pepper) which is used as an insecticide and to give pungency to brandy; 1-piperoylpiperidine, (OCH₂O)H₃C₆—(CH)₄—CO—NC₅H₁₀.
Early 19th century. From classical Latin piper pepper + -ine. Compare earlier piperine.
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