noun ca·price \kə-ˈprēs\

Definition of caprice

  1. 1a :  a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than capriceb :  a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes the caprices of the weather

  2. 2 :  a disposition to do things impulsively a preference for democratic endeavor over authoritarian caprice

  3. 3 :  capriccio 3

Examples of caprice in a sentence

  1. … Montana's “Durum Triangle,” where the caprice of microclimates has led farmers to complain not of floods but of drought. —Florence Williams, New Republic, 16 Aug. 1999

  2. But Castro has his army and his secret police and a reputation for ferocious caprice, and so he can make a whole people dance to his dementias. —Jack Beatty, Atlantic, January 1987

  3. I'm allowing about ten days between here and the U.S.A. (that may be too much or too little, depending on the caprice of the Italian mails). —James Wright, letter, 28 May 1979

  4. the caprices of the weather

  5. Employees have complained of being at the mercy of the manager's every whim and caprice.

  6. policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than caprice

Recent Examples of caprice from the web

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Origin and Etymology of caprice

French, from Italian capriccio caprice, shudder, perhaps from capo head (from Latin caput) + riccio hedgehog, from Latin ericius — more at head, urchin

First Known Use: 1667

Synonym Discussion of caprice

caprice, whim, vagary, crotchet mean an irrational or unpredictable idea or desire. caprice stresses lack of apparent motivation and suggests willfulness by sheer caprice she quit her job. whim implies a fantastic, capricious turn of mind or inclination an odd antique that was bought on a whim. vagary stresses the erratic, irresponsible character of the notion or desire he had been prone to strange vagaries. crotchet implies an eccentric opinion or preference a serious scientist equally known for his bizarre crotchets.

CAPRICE Defined for English Language Learners


noun ca·price \kə-ˈprēs\

Definition of caprice for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden change; especially : a sudden change in someone's mood or behavior

CAPRICE Defined for Kids


noun ca·price \kə-ˈprēs\

Definition of caprice for Students

  1. :  a sudden change in feeling, opinion, or action :  whim

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capable of being understood in two ways

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