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captain

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noun cap·tain \ˈkap-tən also ˈkap-əm\

Definition of captain

  1. 1 a (1) :  a military leader :  the commander of a unit or a body of troops (2) :  a subordinate officer commanding under a sovereign or general (3) :  a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps ranking above a first lieutenant and below a major b (1) :  a naval officer who is master or commander of a ship (2) :  a commissioned officer in the navy ranking above a commander and below a commodore and in the coast guard ranking above a commander and below a rear admiral c :  a senior pilot who commands the crew of an airplane d :  an officer in a police department or fire department in charge of a unit (as a precinct or company) and usually ranking above a lieutenant and below a chief

  2. 2 :  one who leads or supervises: as a :  a leader of a sports team or side b :  headwaiter c :  a person in charge of hotel bellhops —called also bell captain

  3. 3 :  a person of importance or influence in a field <captains of industry>

captaincy

play \ˈkap-tən-sē\ noun

captainship

play \-ˌship\ noun

Examples of captain in a sentence

  1. The captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign.

  2. <the captain is responsible for everything that happens to his ship in the course of a voyage>

Origin and Etymology of captain

Middle English capitane, from Anglo-French capitain, from Late Latin capitaneus, adjective & noun, chief, from Latin capit-, caput head — more at head


First Known Use: 14th century


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captain

verb cap·tain

Definition of captain

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to be captain of :  lead <captained the football team>

Examples of captain in a sentence

  1. The ship was captained by John Smith.

  2. She captained last year's team.

1598

First Known Use of captain

1598



CAPTAIN Defined for English Language Learners

1

captain

play
noun cap·tain \ˈkap-tən also ˈkap-əm\

Definition of captain for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is in charge of a ship or an airplane

  • : an officer of high rank in some branches of the military

  • : an officer of high rank in a police or fire department


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captain

verb cap·tain

Definition of captain for English Language Learners

  • : to be in charge of (a ship or airplane)

  • : to lead (a team)


CAPTAIN Defined for Kids

1

captain

play
noun cap·tain \ˈkap-tən\

Definition of captain for Students

  1. 1 :  the commanding officer of a ship

  2. 2 :  a leader of a group :  someone in command <the captain of a football team>

  3. 3 :  an officer of high rank in a police or fire department

  4. 4 :  a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a commander

  5. 5 :  a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps ranking below a major

Word Root of captain

The Latin word caput, meaning “head," gives us the root capit, which is sometimes shortened to capt. Words from the Latin caput have something to do with the head or a place where decisions are made. The capital of a state or country is the city where the government is and where decisions are made about laws. A captain is the person who heads a group and leads his members. To decapitate is to cut off someone's head.


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captain

play
verb cap·tain

Definition of captain for Students

captained

captaining

  1. :  to be captain of <She captains the team.>



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