Definition of pepper in English:



  • 1A pungent, hot-tasting powder prepared from dried and ground peppercorns, commonly used as a spice or condiment to flavor food.

    • ‘Drying may bring about a desirable change in flavour, as in pepper where the pungency increases.’
    • ‘Transfer into the salad bowl, add in the parsley and rucola, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss to coat.’
    • ‘Drizzle with two tablespoons of oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and top with the thyme.’
    • ‘Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper if you'd like.’
    • ‘Coat the chicken with olive oil, and scatter with sea salt, pepper and oregano.’
    • ‘The lamb was roasted with minced spices and peppers, tender and pungent.’
    • ‘Add freshly ground pepper, the bay leaf, a splash of wine, and the butter.’
    • ‘Serve warm, sprinkled with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to accompany chicken, steaks, lamb, or burgers.’
    • ‘Drizzle over some oil, then season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.’
    • ‘The meat mixture has ground beef, onion, tomato paste, peas, salt, pepper, and curry powder.’
    • ‘Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add the parsley and stir gently.’
    • ‘Add a smear of oil, then season the steak with sea salt and ground pepper and place in the pan.’
    • ‘Add some Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and a small bowl of freshly grated Parmesan to dip into.’
    • ‘Break the eggs into a bowl, add sea salt, pepper, parsley and paprika, and whisk.’
    • ‘Season with salt and ground pepper then put in a container with the crushed garlic and olive oil.’
    • ‘First prepare the mayo: place the egg yolks, mustard, 1 tsp lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper in a food processor and process for a few seconds.’
    • ‘Whiz the onion, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth.’
    • ‘In a small bowl, combine sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, chilli powder and garlic.’
    • ‘Make shallots, garlic, red chilies, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground pepper, trassi and turmeric into a paste.’
    • ‘Squeeze the lime or lemon juice over the peas and lentils, grind over a little pepper and salt and serve hot.’
    1. 1.1A reddish and typically hot-tasting spice prepared from various forms of capsicum.
      See also cayenne
      • ‘Basically, Mexican rice is flavoured by three things: turmeric, peppers (especially chili peppers) and ground cayenne peppers.’
  • 2A capsicum, especially a sweet pepper.

  • 3A climbing vine with berries that are dried as black or white peppercorns.

    1. 3.1Used in names of other plants that are related to this, have hot-tasting leaves, or have fruits used as a pungent spice, e.g., water pepper.
      • ‘Jerusalem cherries and ornamental peppers are tender tropical plants.’
      • ‘April is a great time to plant peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, squash and heat-loving okra.’
      • ‘Other crop plants like peppers, cowpeas, clovers, legumes, and many others will be studied in the future.’
      • ‘For example, in climates with cool summers, heat-loving plants like eggplants and peppers thrive in containers because the container and soil are warmed by the sun.’
      • ‘The allspice tree belongs to the myrtle family, and is not related to the pepper or to capsicum plants.’
  • 4Baseball
    A practice game in which fielders throw at close range to a batter who hits back to the fielders.


  • 1 Sprinkle or season (food) with pepper.

    ‘peppered beef’
    • ‘Jerusalem artichokes were painted with olive oil, salted and peppered, and baked whole, like little potatoes, until the skins darkened and split and the oozing juices caramelized.’
    • ‘That would be fine if there was some tomatillo base, but it just tasted like peppered cilantro with some pepper and cilantro-pepper.’
    • ‘Typically, these products consist of thin strips, air dried, usually salted, sometimes lightly smoked, often peppered or spiced.’
    • ‘The menu was varied and exciting, ranging from quiche to peppered steak.’
    • ‘You can even substitute smoked mackerel for the tuna - peppered or unpeppered, whichever takes your fancy.’
    • ‘The heirloom tomatoes were sliced, salted, peppered, and placed on a white dish with a wee bit of basil.’
    • ‘He peppered the meat and swirled it with vegetables, asparagus shoots and courgette and finely shaved carrots, leeks and onions at their most succulent.’
    • ‘Two of us chose crispy duck with orange and Grand Marnier sauce, the birthday girl chose peppered steak, another chose lamb kebab with mint and honey and another went for halibut.’
    • ‘Remove the plastic wrap from the tuna rolls; season with salt and pepper and add to the pan.’
    • ‘Beef or chicken are satayed or peppered for just $5.25.’
    • ‘It is 1980s country house hotel cooking: complicated, rich, protein-intensive, heavy-handedly peppered with foods that shriek out Scottishness.’
    • ‘Meat and fish were curried or peppered in order to preserve them and we picked the abundant fruit that grew in our garden.’
    • ‘It was a cream fettuccine, peppered and spiced.’
    • ‘I didn't use oil this time - just salted and peppered it.’
    • ‘Not of interest in and of itself, true, but it means that I can pepper my meat and two veg with a little colourful spice.’
    • ‘Breakfast in Damascus is ‘a brainburger - a whole lamb's cerebrum, poached, peppered and squashed into a bun - and a banana milkshake’.’
    • ‘The first-course platter of big, peppered tails-on shrimp and seared scallops, all swamped in a delirious garlic-butter sauce, is outrageously good.’
    • ‘Gratefully, I copiously peppered my dish, and returned the pepper grinder to the young man, thanking him.’
    • ‘Our steaks were served with home-style gravy, sweet and peppered, along with local fries, sweet corn, carrots and peas.’
    • ‘Among the cakes, the zaleti - cornflour biscuits peppered with sultanas - are especially good.’
    season, flavour, spice, spice up
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    1. 1.1Cover or fill with a liberal amount of scattered items.
      ‘the script is peppered with four-letter words’
      • ‘As with all of his work, the score is varied and intelligent, not at all fitting the cliche of the Broadway musical, and the script is peppered with songs that complement the overlying themes.’
      • ‘So, the awards might have come late, and the show might have been peppered with political speeches, but when it's a trophy to add to one's shelf, no one is complaining.’
      • ‘His speeches are peppered with key phrases including ‘the consumer is boss’, ‘reframing the brands’ and ‘connect and develop’.’
      • ‘Matt was only a little taller than Jake, but a lot broader, and his dark black hair was liberally peppered with grey.’
      • ‘His strong speech was peppered with witticisms that the audience was waiting to hear.’
      • ‘The script is peppered with dialogue that will make you howl for days, most of it being spoken by the Inspector.’
      • ‘But she couldn't have caught all the in-jokes that the script is peppered with, and she admitted as much.’
      • ‘His script is peppered with mildly amusing moments, but few that are uproarious.’
      • ‘In an letter to the Times newspaper, he said: ‘Deliberately peppering his utterances with swear words and appearing in public carefully dishevelled is not setting a good example of behaviour.’’
      • ‘The track list is peppered with impressive guest spots.’
      • ‘In addition, each explanation is peppered with the necessary amount of technical information needed to accomplish the job.’
      • ‘The action is fast-paced and brutal, and the dubbed dialogue has been peppered with four letter words.’
      • ‘In this case, it is also peppered with an enormous amount of humour as well as a direct insight into the sheer boredom and irritation of being incarcerated and its destructive effect on the personality.’
      • ‘The cast deals admirably with a difficult script which is peppered with acerbic one-liners and wonderfully witty wisecracks.’
      • ‘The poet, in his speech that was peppered with quotes from ancient literary texts, demonstrated how the element of caste remained strong, perhaps stronger in our roots.’
      • ‘His speech was peppered with examples from literature and lives of notable personalities who proved why ‘we must maintain our tranquillity amid change.’’
      • ‘The script is peppered with the sort of bickering and snipes you hear from those disgruntled married couples you unfortunately find yourself seated with on cruises.’
      • ‘A jovial person, his speeches are peppered with humour.’
      • ‘The script is peppered with hilarious, punchy one-liners and one malicious twist in the plot follows another to keep the momentum swinging nicely.’
      • ‘That might have been disturbing enough for some of the residents if I hadn't been peppering the conversation with swear words every other syllable.’
      sprinkle, fleck, intersperse, dot, spot, bespatter, dab, bestud, stipple, pock, freckle, scatter
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    2. 1.2Hit repeatedly with small missiles or gunshot.
      ‘another burst of enemy bullets peppered his defenseless body’
      figurative ‘he peppered me with questions’
      • ‘But I want to play you some tape, because the candidates this week were peppered with questions as they made the television rounds.’
      • ‘Her face and body were peppered with shrapnel.’
      • ‘I saw many feuds erupt in a blaze of automatic fire, peppering the walls with bullets that whined through the air like demonic bees.’
      • ‘He finally stopped and was peppered with bullets from an Apache helicopter.’
      • ‘On the morning of the 12 th, the climbers woke to the sound of bullets peppering the rock around their portaledge camp, 1,000 feet up.’
      • ‘The president's press secretary was peppered with questions about all this today.’
      • ‘Bullets started peppering the highway from above and I swerved to avoid them.’
      • ‘He was peppered with many questions about the big houses and lavish living that are often displayed in American music videos and television.’
      • ‘Meanwhile at the match I'm supposed to be covering, Sweden are peppering the Danish goal, but just can't score.’
      • ‘The missiles found their targets, peppering the enemy formation.’
      • ‘As an American expatriate in Japan, I am often peppered with questions about the movie, which was filmed in Tokyo.’
      • ‘After the initial half-hour's fighting right in the settlement, they backed off and satisfied themselves with peppering the buildings with bullets.’
      • ‘Her magical attacks flew thick and fast, peppering her enemy with flaming explosive shots.’
      • ‘And he was peppered with skeptical questions and comments from the various justices.’
      • ‘A propaganda line was prepared, while the city was peppered with repeated bombardment.’
      • ‘I will never forget a meeting I once had with a candidate and his advisers, in which I was constantly peppered with questions about logos and bumper stickers.’
      • ‘The five-story building was peppered with grenade blasts and bullet holes.’
      • ‘And in a House hearing, he was peppered with unusually aggressive questions and comments on outsourcing.’
      • ‘He is getting peppered with questions from the press, many of them with a familiar theme.’
      • ‘While she'd been peppered with questions, this evening they hadn't used any footage of her.’
      bombard, pelt, shower, rain down on, attack, assail, batter, fire a broadside at, strafe, rake, sweep, enfilade, blitz, hit
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    3. 1.3archaic Inflict severe punishment or suffering upon.


Old English piper, pipor; related to Dutch peper and German Pfeffer; via Latin from Greek peperi, from Sanskrit pippalī berry, peppercorn.