1

captain

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

Definition of captain

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 (such as a precinct or company) and usually ranking above a lieutenant and below a chief
2 :one who leads or supervises: such as
a :a leader of a sports team or side
c :a person in charge of hotel bellhops called also bell captain
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

Recent Examples of captain from the Web

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

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

captain Synonyms


2

captain

verb

Definition of captain

transitive verb
: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.

Recent Examples of captain from the Web

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

First Known Use of captain

1598

captain Synonyms

Synonyms
boss, handle, head, overlook, oversee, quarterback, superintend, supervise
Related Words
administer, command, control, direct, guide, manage, order, run, shepherd, show, steer; monitor, preside (over); govern, reign, rule
Near Antonyms
bow (to), comply (with), defer (to), follow, obey, serve, submit (to), yield (to)


CAPTAIN Defined for English Language Learners

captain

play
noun

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


captain

verb

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 :the commanding officer of a ship
2 :a leader of a group :someone in command
  • the captain of a football team
3 :an officer of high rank in a police or fire department
4 :a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a commander
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.


2

captain

verb

Definition of captain for Students

captained; captaining
:to be captain of
  • She captains the team.


Seen and Heard

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