Synonyms & Antonyms of capricious

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About capricious

How does the adjective capricious differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of capricious are fickle, inconstant, mercurial, and unstable. While all these words mean "lacking firmness or steadiness (as in purpose or devotion)," capricious suggests motivation by sudden whim or fancy and stresses unpredictability.

an utterly capricious critic

When can fickle be used instead of capricious?

In some situations, the words fickle and capricious are roughly equivalent. However, fickle suggests unreliability because of perverse changeability and incapacity for steadfastness.

performers discover how fickle fans can be

Where would inconstant be a reasonable alternative to capricious?

Although the words inconstant and capricious have much in common, inconstant implies an incapacity for steadiness and an inherent tendency to change.

an inconstant friend

When could mercurial be used to replace capricious?

The meanings of mercurial and capricious largely overlap; however, mercurial implies a rapid changeability in mood.

made anxious by her boss's mercurial temperament

When might unstable be a better fit than capricious?

While the synonyms unstable and capricious are close in meaning, unstable implies an incapacity for remaining in a fixed position or steady course and applies especially to a lack of emotional balance.

too unstable to hold a job

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capricious

Time Traveler for capricious

Time Traveler

The first known use of capricious was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about capricious

Cite this Entry

“Capricious.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on capricious

Dictionary: Definition of capricious

Nglish: Translation of capricious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capricious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on capricious

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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