• (noun): The head; also, a knoblike protuberance or capitulum.
  • (noun): The top or superior part of a thing.
  • (noun): The council or ruling body of the University of Cambridge prior to the constitution of 1856.

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Wordnet definitions

  • (noun): the upper part of the human body or the front part of the body in animals; contains the face and brains; "he stuck his head out the window"
  • (noun): a headlike protuberance on an organ or structure; "the caput humeri is the head of the humerus which fits into a cavity in the scapula"

Look up "caput" to find its meanings and associations with other words and concepts


Caput, a Latin word meaning literally \"head\" and by metonymy \"top\", has been borrowed in a variety of English words, including capital, captain, and decapitate. The surname Caputo, common in the Campania region of Italy, comes from the appellation used by some Roman military generals. A variant form has surfaced more recently in the title Capo (or Caporegime), the head of La Cosa Nostra. The French language converted 'caput' into chief, chef, and chapitre, later borrowed in English as chapter.
The central settlement in an Anglo-Saxon multiple estate was called a caput, (short for caput baroniae, see below). The word is also used for the centre of administration of a hundred. It may also refer to a family seat.
Caput baroniae is the seat of an English feudal barony. Caput baronium is the seat of a barony in Scotland.
Caput was also the name of the council or ruling body of the University of Cambridge prior to the constitution of 1856 and remains the presiding body of the Senate of the University of Dublin.
Caput is also used in medicine to describe any head like protuberance on an organ or structure, such as the caput humeri.
In music, caput may refer to the Missa Caput or the plainsong melisma on which it is based.
In arachnology, the caput or \"head\" is the cephalic part of a cephalothorax.
The German word kaputt (\"destroyed\"), from which derives the English colloquialism 'kaput' or 'caput' (meaning done, or finished) is not related to this word. The origin of the German word, and consequently the English words is borrowing from the French: être capot, lit. 'to be bonnet' or fig. 'to be defeated'.

Example Sentences

  • In fact, the word capital comes from the Latin word caput, which means “head.”

  • In fact, the word "capital" in the context of punishment was coined to describe execution by decapitation, derived from the Latin word caput, which means "head."

  • I wonder if the technical singular “head” is related to Latin caput, as catel indirectly is, or is that just a weird coincidence?

  • The clue for reconstructing the original lines he found in the expression caput ecclesiæ, which he judged referred to St. Peter.

  • Christian spirit, are like salt that has lost its savour, like that which the chemists call the caput mortuum, that has all its salts drawn from it, that is the most useless worthless thing in the world; it has no manner of virtue or good property in it.

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