cap·​size | \ ˈkap-ˌsīz How to pronounce capsize (audio) , kap-ˈsīz\
capsized; capsizing

Definition of capsize

transitive verb

: to cause to overturn capsize a canoe

intransitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from capsize

capsize noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for capsize


overturn, turn over, upset



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But after Douglas passed away in 2015 after his kayak capsized, Kristin donated over much of their land to the Chilean government. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "One of the Longest Hiking Trails in the World Just Opened in Chile," 1 Oct. 2018 Carlson capsized several times and endured high waves and the remnants of a hurricane during the journey. Fox News, "US teacher rows solo across Atlantic in record time," 5 Aug. 2018 The craft capsized, dumping all three boaters into the water. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Mother, 14-year-old son found floating in Lake Livingston after 7-hour search," 4 July 2018 The badly overloaded ferry capsized in the final stretch before shore on Thursday afternoon as people returning from a busy market day shifted and prepared to disembark. Fox News, "The Latest: Video shows rescued Tanzania ferry survivor," 22 Sep. 2018 That Coast Guard analysis concluded the vessel likely capsized in large seas and winds because of prolonged icing conditions that added weight high on the vessel. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Freezing spray probably sank Seattle-based Destination, NTSB finds," 12 July 2018 The Coast Guard reported a second tugboat capsized last week in the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Emily Lane,, "Authorities locate tugboat that sank in Mississippi River after 1 of 3 on board rescued," 21 Mar. 2018 The Prinz Eugen capsized in 1946 after being nuked—twice—during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How the U.S. Is Recovering Oil from a Nuked Warship," 17 Sep. 2018 But in May, Andrew Simpson, a 2008 British gold medalist competing for Artemis, drowned after his AC72 capsized in training. Luke O'brien, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 1 Sep. 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capsize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of capsize

1778, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for capsize

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capsize

Statistics for capsize

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capsize

The first known use of capsize was in 1778

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for capsize



English Language Learners Definition of capsize

of a boat : to turn over : to turn so that the bottom is on top


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

Kids Definition of capsize

: to turn over : upset Sit down or you'll capsize the canoe.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on capsize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with capsize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for capsize

Spanish Central: Translation of capsize

Nglish: Translation of capsize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capsize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on capsize

What made you want to look up capsize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!