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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for capitulate

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 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 This wouldn't be happening but for this impulsive decision by the president to capitulate to Erdoğan by precipitously withdrawing our forces. CBS News, "Transcript: Representative Adam Schiff on "Face the Nation," October 13, 2019," 13 Oct. 2019 As the peace talks approached, hard-liners and militants inside Ukraine had accused him of capitulating to Russia, and his popularity ratings had gone into free fall. Simon Shuster/kyiv, Time, ""I’m Not Afraid of the Impeachment Questions": How Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Is Navigating His Role in the World's Biggest Political Drama," 5 Dec. 2019 Even her soft ballads, however melancholy, refused to capitulate. Bob Gendron, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Angel Olsen stuffed the Riviera with personal hell, tumult, fury and grandeur — in other words, she rocked," 15 Nov. 2019 Even though the fight got Microsoft into deep trouble with competition authorities, which nearly broke it up, Netscape, an internet pioneer, had to capitulate. The Economist, "What open-source culture can teach tech titans and their critics," 18 July 2019 But after the loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, Haslem said there almost was an organizational defiance about not capitulating. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Can Heat offer Warriors a blueprint regarding capitulation, devastation, resolve? | Commentary," 3 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capitulate

Time Traveler for capitulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of capitulate was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about capitulate

Statistics for capitulate

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capitulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitulates. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on capitulate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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