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 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).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!