cap·​size ˈkap-ˌsīz How to pronounce capsize (audio)
capsized; capsizing

transitive verb

: to cause to overturn
capsize a canoe

intransitive verb

: to become upset or overturned : turn over
the canoe capsized
capsize noun

Examples of capsize in a Sentence

They were fooling around and accidentally capsized the canoe. a huge wave out of nowhere caused our little sailboat to capsize
Recent Examples on the Web Chesterfield Township Police and other first responders resumed their search of Anchor Bay at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning and found Kloss' deceased body shortly after noon, not far from the area of the bay where the jet skis capsized. Kylie Martin, Detroit Free Press, 29 Mar. 2024 After pirates invaded the ship, shot a passenger, and set off a bomb that left the vessel taking on water, last week's episode ended with a giant wave brought on by a hurricane capsizing the boat, turning everything (and everyone) on its head. Patrick Gomez,, 28 Mar. 2024 During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Oklahoma quickly capsized, killing 429 crewmen, including Winfield. Giuseppe Ricapito, The Mercury News, 18 Mar. 2024 One giant turn capsized the episode’s happy vibes, though — centered around Gino and Jasmine. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 4 Mar. 2024 The Weather Service issued a Gale Warning from 6:00 am Friday until 6:00 am Sunday due to intense waves, heavy freezing sprays of water and reduced visibility with the capacity to damage and capsize boats. Tamia Fowlkes, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 In recent years, orca whales have repeatedly made headlines after attacking — and, in several cases, capsizing — ships off the coast of Spain and Portugal. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 21 Feb. 2024 The impact launched the Milwaukee’s lookout, Harrington, into the water and almost capsized the entire vessel. Mitchell Willetts, Kansas City Star, 24 Mar. 2024 Faustino Romero De La Cruz, 40, is accused of coordinating the transportation of more than 10 migrants from Mexico to the United States in a boat that ended up capsizing on April 10, 2022. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


perhaps from Spanish capuzar or Catalan cabussar to thrust (the head) underwater

First Known Use

1778, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of capsize was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near capsize

Cite this Entry

“Capsize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cap·​size ˈkap-ˌsīz How to pronounce capsize (audio)
capsized; capsizing
: to become or cause to become upset or overturned : turn over
canoes capsize easily

More from Merriam-Webster on capsize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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