The chile pepper, chili peppers, chilli or chilie, is the fruit of the plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Although chiles may be thought of as vegetables, their culinary usage is typically as a spice, the part of the plant usually harvested is the fruit, and botany considers the plant a berry shrub.

The name, spelled differently around the world (chili, chile, chilli or chilie), comes from Nahuatl chÄ«lli via the Spanish word chile. The term chili in much of the world refers almost exclusively to the smaller, hot types of capsicum. The mild, larger types are called bell peppers in the United States, Canada and sometimes the United Kingdom, sweet pepper in Britain and Ireland, capsicum in India and Australia-Asia, and paprika in many European countries. Bell peppers are often named simply by their color – generally greens and reds.

Chile peppers and their various types originated in the Americas; they are now grown around the globe because of their wide use as spices or vegetables in cuisine and for medicine.