capitulate

verb
ca·​pit·​u·​late | \ kə-ˈpi-chə-ˌlāt How to pronounce capitulate (audio) \
capitulated; capitulating

Definition of capitulate

intransitive verb

1a : to surrender often after negotiation of terms The enemy was forced to capitulate unconditionally.
b : to cease resisting : acquiesce The company capitulated to the labor union to avoid a strike.
2 archaic : parley, negotiate

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Synonyms & Antonyms for capitulate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for capitulate

yield, submit, capitulate, succumb, relent, defer mean to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist. yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty. yields too easily in any argument submit suggests full surrendering after resistance or conflict to the will or control of another. a repentant sinner vowing to submit to the will of God capitulate stresses the fact of ending all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms (as with an adversary) or hopelessness in the face of an irresistible opposing force. officials capitulated to the protesters' demands succumb implies weakness and helplessness to the one that gives way or an overwhelming power to the opposing force. a stage actor succumbing to the lure of Hollywood relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand. finally relented and let the children stay up late defer implies a voluntary yielding or submitting out of respect or reverence for or deference and affection toward another. I defer to your expertise in these matters

Did You Know?

Capitulate and its synonyms "yield," "submit," and "succumb" all mean to give way to someone or something, with a few slight differences in emphasis. "Yield" may apply to any sort or degree of bowing to force, debate, or pleading ("yields too easily in any argument"). "Submit" suggests surrender, after resistance, to the will or control of another ("a sinner submitting to the will of God"). "Succumb" imputes weakness and helplessness to the person giving in, or an overwhelming power to the opposition ("succumbing to temptation"). "Capitulate" stresses the termination of all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms, as with an adversary, or hopelessness before an irresistible opposing force ("officials capitulated to the demands").

Examples of capitulate in a Sentence

The country still refuses to capitulate despite its weakening army and dwindling resources. The teacher refused to capitulate: no calculators were to be used during the exam.
Recent Examples on the Web The Eagles capitulated at the start of the game and found themselves 4-0 down after just 22 minutes as Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette all netted for the home side. SI.com, "Roy Hodgson Admits it Was Already 'Game Over' After Crystal Palace Went 2-0 Down to Arsenal," 21 Jan. 2018 Investors finally capitulated on Friday, starting by dumping everything before a partial recovery, in what might mark at least a short-term end to the steep selloff that began last week. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "As Markets Fall, Ask Yourself if Now Is the Time to Buy," 28 Feb. 2020 By the late 1990s, Damascus had capitulated to mounting pressure from Ankara, evicting Ocalan and shutting down PKK camps. Arwa Damon And Isil Sariyuce, CNN, "Turkey's assault in Syria is a boon for Erdogan. Here's why," 15 Oct. 2019 Younger ones look with alarm at Syriza, the far-left Greek party which capitulated to the EU after coming to office in 2015. The Economist, "A Labour government would radically transform Britain," 30 Oct. 2019 The 24-year-old scored four second-half goals in an eye watering Group B result against a hapless Spurs side which capitulated after the half-time whistle. Ben Church, CNN, "Serge Gnabry stars as Bayern Munich humiliates Tottenham," 1 Oct. 2019 There were some last-minute meetings to attempt to bridge the divide and even some whispers that Amazon had capitulated and agreed to remain neutral in employee union campaigns. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Behind Amazon’s HQ2 fiasco, Jeff Bezos wanted incentives like Elon Musk’s," 3 Feb. 2020 What is somewhat surprising, however, is that Abrams seems to have capitulated to that contingent of fans with The Rise of Skywalker. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Why It's Problematic That Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Retcons the Plot of The Last Jedi," 20 Dec. 2019 This season, the show tried to capitulate with a negligible dose of stronger medicine. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "Sure, ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ could reach for more importance, but that’s not why it’s here," 12 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capitulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capitulate

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for capitulate

Medieval Latin capitulatus, past participle of capitulare to distinguish by heads or chapters, from Late Latin capitulum — see capitulary

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Time Traveler for capitulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of capitulate was in 1596

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Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capitulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitulate. Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for capitulate

capitulate

verb
How to pronounce capitulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of capitulate

formal
: to stop fighting an enemy or opponent : to admit that an enemy or opponent has won
: to stop trying to fight or resist something : to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing

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