cape

1 of 3

noun (1)

often attributive
1
: a point or extension of land jutting out into water as a peninsula or as a projecting point
2
often capitalized : cape cod cottage

cape

2 of 3

noun (2)

1
: a sleeveless outer garment or part of a garment that fits closely at the neck and hangs loosely over the shoulders
2
: the short feathers covering the shoulders of a fowl see duck illustration

cape

3 of 3

verb

caped; caping; capes
1
intransitive : to act as a defender or supporter
usually used with for
[Billie] Eilish, for one, has been caping for the environment for years now, decreeing Gen-Z the saviors of the earth …Brenna Ehrlich
… the players are caping for [Mike] Pegues [basketball coach] and the rest of the staff, and admitting their role in Louisville's struggles to open the season.Matthew McGavic
2
transitive : to remove the head and the hide of an animal for preserving or mounting as a trophy
For a shoulder mount, most won't be comfortable with caping the deer without risking damage, so it's best to then take it to a professional taxidermist.kdvr.com
often used with out
There are different methods for caping an animal out, but the general idea is to remove the skin from the upper half of the body in a single piece.Eric Barker

Examples of cape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Storm surge warnings in South Florida, where water reached five to eight feet above ground level in the Lower Keys and six to 10 feet around the cape to Everglades City, were mostly accurate. Jenny Staletovich, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 But the meaning of those capes became something more assertive. Jon Grinspan, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Apr. 2024 Summers on the cape, plaid school uniforms, cashmere cardigans, and monograms on everything— all these images evoke that classic aesthetic of East Coast prep. Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Mar. 2024 Backstage, Hayden was costumed as a voodoo priest in cape and feathers, his face coated in dazzling colors. Tom Stanton, Detroit Free Press, 23 Mar. 2024 There’s even a hooded, zip-up knit sweater, as a casual alternative to the traditional wrap or cape. Laura Neilson, Vogue, 21 Mar. 2024 The tulle cape, opaque-to-sheer ombre effect, and the sweetheart neckline were all exquisite details on her gown. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 17 Mar. 2024 The Traitors is essentially the sleepover game Mafia, plus capes. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 6 Mar. 2024 Beyoncé wore dramatic sleeve styles—puffs, tufts, capes—on her Renaissance World Tour. André Wheeler, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024
Verb
Rachael's scandal became even more of a major news story after Chris Harrison decided to use his platform to cape for her while simultaneously belittling former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 26 Feb. 2021 See how the people came together to cape for Labelle’s legacy below. Keyaira Boone, Essence, 26 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cape.' 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)

Middle English cap, from Anglo-French cape, from Old Occitan cap, from Latin caput head — more at head

Noun (2)

probably from Spanish capa cloak, from Late Latin cappa head covering, cloak

Verb

derivative of cape entry 2, in sense 1 alluding to the cape worn by superheros such as Superman who defend the innocent; in sense 2 alluding to the shape of the hide cut in this manner

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of cape was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near cape

Cite this Entry

“Cape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cape. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

cape

1 of 2 noun
: a point of land that extends out into the sea or a lake

cape

2 of 2 noun
: a sleeveless garment worn so as to hang over the shoulders, arms, and back
Etymology

Noun

Middle English cap "cape, point of land," derived from an early Occitan word cap (same meaning), from Latin caput "head" — related to capital

Noun

probably from Spanish capa "cloak," from Latin cappa "head covering, cloak" — related to cap, chapel, chaperon, cope entry 1, escape

More from Merriam-Webster on cape

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!