Etymology: Middle English peper, from Old English pipor, from Latin piper, from Greek peperi
Date: before 12th century
a. either of two pungent products from the fruit of an Indian plant (Piper nigrum) that are used chiefly as condiments:
(1) black pepper
(2) white pepper
b. any of several products similar to pepper that are obtained from plants of the same genus <cubeb pepper> c. any of various pungent condiments of plants unrelated to the pepper <Szechuan pepper> 2. any of a genus (Piper of the family Piperaceae, the pepper family) of tropical mostly jointed climbing shrubs with aromatic leaves; especially a woody vine (P. nigrum) with spicate flowers that is widely cultivated in the tropics for its red berries from which black pepper and white pepper are prepared 3. a. capsicum 1a; especially a New World capsicum (Capsicum annuum) whose fruits are hot peppers or sweet peppers b. the hollow fruit of a pepper that is usually red or yellow when ripe • pepper adjective II. transitive verb (peppered; peppering) Date: circa 1500 1. to hit with or as if with rapid repeated blows 2. a. to sprinkle or season with pepper b. to shower with or as if with shot or other missiles 3. to sprinkle or cover as if with pepper <peppered the report with statistics> <a face peppered with freckles> • pepperer noun III. noun Etymology: probably from 2pep + 2-er Date: 1943 a baseball practice or warm-up game in which usually several fielders toss the ball a short distance to a single batter who hits it back
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.