Simple Definition of capitulate
: to stop fighting an enemy or opponent : to admit that an enemy or opponent has won
: to stop trying to fight or resist something : to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing
Examples of capitulate in a sentence
The country still refuses to capitulate despite its weakening army and dwindling resources.
The teacher refused to capitulate: no calculators were to be used during the exam.
Did You Know?
Capitulate and its synonyms "yield," "submit," and "succumb" all mean to give way to someone or something, with a few slight differences in emphasis. "Yield" may apply to any sort or degree of bowing to force, debate, or pleading ("yields too easily in any argument"). "Submit" suggests surrender, after resistance, to the will or control of another ("a sinner submitting to the will of God"). "Succumb" imputes weakness and helplessness to the person giving in, or an overwhelming power to the opposition ("succumbing to temptation"). "Capitulate" stresses the termination of all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms, as with an adversary, or hopelessness before an irresistible opposing force ("officials capitulated to the demands").
Origin of capitulate
Medieval Latin capitulatus, past participle of capitulare to distinguish by heads or chapters, from Late Latin capitulum
First Known Use: 1596
Synonym Discussion of capitulate
Rhymes with capitulate
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