caprice

noun
ca·​price | \ kə-ˈprēs How to pronounce caprice (audio) \

Definition of caprice

1a : a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than caprice
b : a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes the caprices of the weather
2 : a disposition to do things impulsively a preference for democratic endeavor over authoritarian caprice

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of caprice in a Sentence

… 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 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 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 the caprices of the weather Employees have complained of being at the mercy of the manager's every whim and caprice. policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than caprice
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Recent Examples on the Web

Itzkoff does a good job of capturing this period’s madcap caprices. David Kamp, New York Times, "A Comic Force of Nature: The Life — and Death — of Robin Williams," 15 May 2018 For public-school teachers, whose jobs are dependent on state funding and subject to federal caprice, the APs provide objective proof of classroom success. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 Even before the Great Depression brought huge unemployment to Germany, the caprice of the global economy offered an opportunity to politicians who had simple answers. Timothy Snyder, New York Times, "How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany?," 14 June 2018 In the first, Mr. Sciarrino, clearly inspired by Paganini’s dazzling violin caprices, writes an avant-garde equivalent, with whirlwinds of jagged, scratchy-toned arpeggios that flow into slinky, sliding tones, then erupt in staccato madness. New York Times, "Review: A Tiny Garage Explodes in Pianistic Madness," 25 June 2018 Just as Cupid fires off arrows willy-nilly, Bechtel’s music has matching caprice. Hugh Hunter, Philly.com, "Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 'Twelfth Night': A hilarious tragedy on human frailty," 24 June 2018 Europe is deluded to interpret the withdrawal as a fit of Trumpian caprice. Michael Doran And, WSJ, "Time to Make Up After Fighting Over Iran," 17 June 2018 The contemptable weakness of Congress over the past 40 years has added up to a moment where presidents of both parties can rule by fiat and, apparently, caprice. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "If only we had a Congress," 19 June 2018 The idea was that each piece would be a virtuoso caprice that was about the violin and the violinist. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Jennifer Koh and the 'Shared Madness' of coming between a violinist and her violin," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caprice.' 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 caprice

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for caprice

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

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Statistics for caprice

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caprice

The first known use of caprice was in 1667

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More Definitions for caprice

caprice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of caprice

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

caprice

noun
ca·​price | \ kə-ˈprēs How to pronounce caprice (audio) \

Kids Definition of caprice

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on caprice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caprice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caprice

Spanish Central: Translation of caprice

Nglish: Translation of caprice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caprice for Arabic Speakers

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