white·​cap ˈ(h)wīt-ˌkap How to pronounce whitecap (audio)
: a wave crest breaking into white foam
usually used in plural

Examples of whitecap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wind asserted itself in the District on Saturday by throbbing in the ears, raising whitecaps on the Potomac River and setting twigs, branches and leaves into frenzied tossing, fluttering and nodding. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2024 For three days, as a fierce wind whipped the water outside the windows into frothing whitecaps, the group sat through a series of talks, most of them by two mathematicians from Stony Brook University in New York: Misha Lyubich and Dima Dudko. Quanta Magazine, 26 Jan. 2024 About that time, the wind picks up and within a few seconds, there are 1- to 2-foot whitecaps, with rain and thunder. Idaho Statesman, 2 Mar. 2016 This can be less desirable on a jet ski, of course, when part of the fun is bouncing around on the whitecaps. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 The dancing whitecaps were pretty but somewhat ominous; at the coffee shop a man had assured me that the flood watch remained very much on. William T. Vollmann, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 Wind throbbed in ears, and whipped up whitecaps on the Potomac River. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2023 The surf was high, with some whitecaps forming in Belfast Harbor and Penobscot Bay. Justine McDaniel, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2023 As evening fell Friday at Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham, one of the outer Cape locations expected to bear the brunt of the storm, dozens of wave-watchers braved fierce gusts to gaze out at the roiling ocean, and snap windblown selfies with the distant whitecaps. Jenna Russell, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whitecap was in 1773

Dictionary Entries Near whitecap

Cite this Entry

“Whitecap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whitecap. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


white·​cap ˈhwīt-ˌkap How to pronounce whitecap (audio)
: the top of a wave breaking into foam
usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on whitecap

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