1 of 2

noun (1)

ca·​po ˈkā-(ˌ)pō How to pronounce capo (audio)
plural capos
: a movable bar attached to the fingerboard of a fretted instrument to uniformly raise the pitch of all the strings


2 of 2

noun (2)

plural capos
: the head of a branch of a crime syndicate

Examples of capo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Find it on Amazon Electric Guitar Kit The Donner Electric Guitar Kit is a complete starter pack for budding musicians, including an amplifier, bag, capo, strap, string, tuner, cable, and picks. Margaret Drake, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2023 Henry Vargas of the Red Pears puts a capo on his guitar (Sarahi Apaez / For De Los) 3. Sarah Quiñones Wolfson, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 The capo wants to know why his thugs are lying dead in the hallway. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 30 Aug. 2023 Prigohzin is a capo, a good earner and, until now, a loyal soldier who has risen through the ranks by doing important and dangerous and special tasks for the boss, President Vladimir Putin, and who now appears to be making a play to take over himself. Phil McCausland, NBC News, 25 June 2023 Stallone’s character, antiquated mafia capo Dwight Manfredi, is tasked with establishing a criminal organization in Tulsa, Okla. after serving a 25-year prison sentence. Antonio Ferme, Variety, 10 Nov. 2022 One of the most quotable characters from the series, Tony Sirico’s fastidious and impeccably coiffured capo is also one of the most tempting to impersonate. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2021 Colley starts her account in 1755, during the very beginnings of a transcontinental conflict that would come to be called the Seven Years’ War, when Pasquale Paoli, the thirty-year-old capo generale politico e economico of Corsica, wrote a ten-page costituzione. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2021 And thank you to the @PDXRivetersSG for having my dad as an honorary capo tonight., 15 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

short for capotasto, from Italian, literally, head of fingerboard

Noun (2)

Italian, head, chief, from Latin caput

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1926, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of capo was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near capo

Cite this Entry

“Capo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural capos
: a bar that can be fitted on the fingerboard especially of a guitar to raise the pitch of all the strings
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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