Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


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

Origin and Etymology of capuchin

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

First Known Use: 1589

Learn More about capuchin

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up capuchin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!