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adjective ca·pri·cious \kə-ˈpri-shəs, -ˈprē-\

: changing often and quickly; especially : often changing suddenly in mood or behavior

: not logical or reasonable : based on an idea, desire, etc., that is not possible to predict

Full Definition of CAPRICIOUS

:  governed or characterized by caprice :  impulsive, unpredictable
ca·pri·cious·ly adverb
ca·pri·cious·ness noun

Examples of CAPRICIOUS

  1. employees who are at the mercy of a capricious manager
  2. The court ruled that the punishment was arbitrary and capricious.
  3. … every balloon voyage is a race between capricious winds and the amount of fuel on board. —Tom Morganthau, Newsweek, 29 Mar. 1999


(see caprice)
First Known Use: 1601

Synonym Discussion of CAPRICIOUS

inconstant, fickle, capricious, mercurial, unstable mean lacking firmness or steadiness (as in purpose or devotion). inconstant implies an incapacity for steadiness and an inherent tendency to change <an inconstant friend>. fickle suggests unreliability because of perverse changeability and incapacity for steadfastness <performers discover how fickle fans can be>. capricious suggests motivation by sudden whim or fancy and stresses unpredictability <an utterly capricious critic>. mercurial implies a rapid changeability in mood <made anxious by her boss's mercurial temperament>. unstable implies an incapacity for remaining in a fixed position or steady course and applies especially to a lack of emotional balance <too unstable to hold a job>.

Rhymes with CAPRICIOUS

CAPRICIOUSLY Defined for Kids


adjective ca·pri·cious \kə-ˈpri-shəs\

Definition of CAPRICIOUS for Kids

:  moved or controlled by a sudden desire <a capricious shopper>
:  likely to change suddenly <capricious weather>
ca·pri·cious·ly adverb


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