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 But a few have begun to capitulate in the wake of criticism on social media and media coverage. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Charter, MicroStrategy reverse policies, allow work at home during coronavirus outbreak," 20 Mar. 2020 His anti-heroes often capitulate to the tyrannical forces around them, whether those forces are bureaucratic or familial. Jeremy Lybarger, The New York Review of Books, "The Mordant Fables of Juraj Herz," 20 Apr. 2020 In advance of the visit, TikTok’s recently expanded team of lobbyists has made the rounds on Capitol Hill, seeking to stress that the social media app isn’t capitulating to censors in Beijing and protects users’ data from the Chinese government. Washington Post, "TikTok leader schedules Washington trip to meet with lawmakers as investigations loom," 5 Dec. 2019 Under the circumstances, the only question is not whether the Frugal Four will capitulate but when and how. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Euro Zone: Intermission," 17 Apr. 2020 In the face of a deepening crisis, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has doubled down on her insistence that there will be no capitulating to the protesters’ demands. Time Staff, Time, "70-Year-Old Man Dies in Hong Kong Protests as Xi Jinping Calls for an End to the Unrest," 15 Nov. 2019 Texas A&M led 7-0 after driving down the field to a touchdown on its first possession but quickly capitulated to trail 24-13 by halftime. San Diego Union-Tribune, "At 3-3, Texas A&M and Fisher stuck in neutral," 13 Oct. 2019 Succession, in one way, capitulates to the metaphors. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Why Succession Works So Well as Horror," 13 Oct. 2019 Toyota had long held out to deploy its own proprietary smartphone integration system but finally capitulated recently to the marketplace. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "As capable as a Jeep, as reliable as a Toyota—it’s the 2020 4Runner SUV," 14 Feb. 2020

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

5 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capitulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitulate. Accessed 5 Jun. 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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Comments on capitulate

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