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capuchin

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noun ca·pu·chin \ˈka-pyə-shən, -pə-, especially for 3 also kə-ˈpyü-, -ˈpü-\

Definition of capuchin

  1. 1 capitalized :  a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin forming since 1529 an austere branch of the first order of St. Francis of Assisi engaged in missionary work and preaching

  2. 2 :  a hooded cloak for women

  3. 3 :  any of a genus (Cebus) of South and Central American monkeys; especially :  one (C. capucinus) with the hair on its crown resembling a monk's cowl



Did You Know?

Members of a genus of tropical monkeys (four species altogether) capuchins are found from Nicaragua to Paraguay. Considered among the most intelligent New World monkeys, capuchins are so-named because of their cap of crown hair, which resembles the cowl of Capuchin monks. These stocky, round-headed monkeys are 12-22 in. (30-55 cm) long, with a hairy, prehensile tail of about the same length. They are brown or black in color, sometimes with white markings. Capuchins live in troops, often in the treetops. They eat fruit and small animals and sometimes raid plantations for oranges and other food. They are easily trained and are valued as gentle pets.

Origin and Etymology of capuchin

Middle French, from Old Italian cappuccino, from cappuccio; from his cowl


First Known Use: 1589


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