cap

1 of 6

noun (1)

often attributive
1
a
: a head covering especially with a visor and no brim
b
: a distinctive head covering emblematic of a position or office: such as
(1)
: a cardinal's biretta
(2)
2
: a natural cover or top: such as
a
: an overlying rock layer that is usually hard to penetrate
b(1)
: pileus
(2)
c
: the top of a bird's head or a patch of distinctively colored feathers in this area
3
a
: something that serves as a cover or protection especially for a tip, knob, or end
a bottle cap
b
: a fitting for closing the end of a tube
c
British : cervical cap
d
: an artificial crown for a tooth
4
: an overlaying or covering structure
5
: a paper or metal container holding an explosive charge (as for a toy pistol)
6
: an upper limit (as on expenditures) : ceiling
a cap on military spending
7
: the symbol ∩ indicating the intersection of two sets compare cup sense 9
8
: a cluster of molecules or chemical groups bound to one end or a region of a cell, virus, or molecule

cap

2 of 6

verb

capped; capping

transitive verb

1
a
: to provide or protect with a cap
cap a bottle
b
: to give a cap to as a symbol of honor, rank, or achievement
2
: to form a cap over : crown
mountains capped with mist
3
a
: to follow with something more noticeable or more significant : outdo
b
: to bring to a climax or conclusion
cap off the show with a song
4
: to form a chemical cap on
5
: to prevent from growing or spreading : set an upper limit on
cap oil prices
6
: to supply (a tooth) with an artificial crown

intransitive verb

: to form or produce a chemical cap

cap

3 of 6

noun (2)

: a small amount of an illegal or legally regulated drug
especially : a small amount of a drug enclosed in a capsule
a cap of cocaine

cap

4 of 6

noun (3)

plural caps
1
2
: a capital letter
usually plural
a message written in caps
According to [linguist Deborah] Tannen, women's preference for expressive hashtags is "similar to their using exclamation points, caps, and repetition of letters to show emphasis, and to the fact that women's spoken intonation patterns tend to vary more than men's."Jessica Bennett
Good netiquette includes not using all caps [=exclusively capital letters] when typing, as it comes across as shouting.John DeGarmo

cap

5 of 6

abbreviation (1)

1
capacity
2
capital
3
capitalize; capitalized

CAP

6 of 6

abbreviation (2)

1
Civil Air Patrol
2
combat air patrol
Phrases
cap in hand
: in a respectful, humble, or sometimes fearful manner
went cap in hand to the governor to seek more funds for education

Examples of cap in a Sentence

Noun (1) grabbed a cap and plopped it on his head before running out I can't find the cap to the milk bottle a cap on player salary expenditures was suggested as a way to keep small market teams competitive Verb a pipe capped at one end Be sure to cap the pen when you are done using it. The report caps a ten-year study of lung cancer among nonsmokers. a concert capped by a fantastic fireworks display If the teams don't cap player salaries, the league won't survive. The law would cap legal immigration. The government wants to cap councils that spend too much. Noun (2) I prefer to take my medicine as caps rather than in liquid form
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
George will be eligible to sign a four-year, $212 million contract ($53 million per year) with teams that have the cap space but, barring further roster moves, the Magic no longer have that room following the agreement with Caldwell-Pope. Jason Beede, Orlando Sentinel, 1 July 2024 The Sixers were able to sign George outright with cap space after shedding the salaries of Tobias Harris, Buddy Hield, Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington. Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News, 1 July 2024
Verb
The event will also feature musical performances and will be capped off by a drone and firework show. Adlai Coleman, Miami Herald, 2 July 2024 The rulings will cap a term marked by new conservative limits on the power of regulatory agencies and by a fresh round of ethics scandals for the justices, whose public approval ratings remain at historic lows. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for cap 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English cappe, from Old English cæppe, from Late Latin cappa head covering, cloak

Noun (2)

short for capsule

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

1942, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cap was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near cap

Cite this Entry

“Cap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cap. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

cap

1 of 2 noun
1
: a head covering
especially : one that has a visor and no brim
2
: something that serves as a cover or protection for something
a bottle cap
3
: a natural cover or top: as
a
: the umbrella-shaped part that bears the spores of a mushroom
b
: the top of a bird's head
4
: a paper or metal container holding a small explosive charge (as for a toy pistol)

cap

2 of 2 verb
capped; capping
1
: to cover or provide with a cap
2
: to follow with something : outdo
3
: to bring to a conclusion
capped off the show with a song
4
: to prevent from growing or spreading : set a limit on
capped oil prices
Etymology

Noun

Middle English cappe "cap," from Old English cæppe "cap," from Latin cappa "head covering, cloak" — related to cape entry 2, chapel

Medical Definition

cap

1 of 3 noun
often attributive
1
: a natural cover or top: as
a
: pileus
2
: something that serves as a cover or protection especially for a tip, knob, or end (as of a tooth)
3
British : cervical cap
4
: a cluster of molecules or chemical groups bound to one end or a region of a cell, virus, or molecule
the cell surface receptors were redistributed into caps

cap

2 of 3 verb
capped; capping

transitive verb

1
: to invest (a student nurse) with a cap as an indication of completion of a probationary period of study
2
: to cover (a diseased or exposed part of a tooth) with a protective substance
3
: to form a chemical cap on
the capped end of a messenger RNA

intransitive verb

: to form or produce a chemical cap

cap

3 of 3 abbreviation
1
capacity
2
capsule

Legal Definition

cap

noun
: an upper limit
a jury found that KAL had committed “willful misconduct,” thus removing the Warsaw Convention's $75,000 cap on damagesDooley v. Korean Air Lines, 524 U.S. 116 (1998)
cap verb

More from Merriam-Webster on cap

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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