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A leaping or dancing in a frolicksome manner. – Beaum.


One who capers, leaps and skips about, or dances.

CA'PER-ING, ppr.

Leaping; skipping.

CA'PI-AS, n. [L. capio, to take.]

In law, a writ of two sorts; one before judgment, called a capias ad respondendum, where an original is issued, to take the defendant, and make him answer to the plaintif: the other, which issues after judgment, is of divers kinds; as, a capias ad satisfaciendum, or writ of execution; a capias pro fine; a capias ut legatum; a capias in withernam. – Blackstone.


An animal partaking of the form of a hog and of a rabbit, the cabiai.

CAP-IL-LA'CEOUS, a. [L. capillaceus, hairy.]

Hairy; resembling a hair. [See Capillary.]

CAP-IL-LAIRE', n. [Fr.]

A kind of sirup, extracted from Maiden-hair. – Mason.

CAP-IL'LA-MENT, n. [L. capillamentum, from capillus, hair, probably a little shoot.]

  1. The filament, a small fine thread, like a hair, that grows in the middle of a flower, with a little knob at the top; a chive.
  2. A fine fiber, or filament, of which the nerves are composed.

CAP'IL-LA-RY, a. [L. capillaris, from capillus, hair.]

  1. Resembling a hair, fine, minute, small in diameter, though long; as a capillary tube or pipe; a capillary vessel in animal bodies, such as the ramifications of the blood-vessels. – Arbuthnot.
  2. In botany, capillary plants are hair-shaped, as the ferns; a term used by Ray, Boerhaave and Morison. This class of plants corresponds to the order of Filices, in the Sexual method, which bear their flower and fruit on the back of the leaf or stalk. – Milne. This term is applied also to leaves which are longer than the setaceous or bristle-shaped leaf, to glands resembling hairs, to the filaments, to the style, and to the pappus or down affixed to some seeds. – Martyn.


A fine vessel or canal. – Darwin.


A blood-vessel like a hair. [Not in use.] – Brown.

CA-PIL'LI-FORM, a. [L. capillus, a hair, and forma, form.]

In the shape or form of a hair, or of hairs. – Kirwan.

CAP'I-TAL, a. [L. capitalis, from caput, the head. See Cape.]

  1. Literally pertaining to the head; as, a capital bruise, in Milton, a bruise on the head. [This use is not common.]
  2. Figuratively, as the head is the highest part of a man, chief; principal; first in importance; as, a capital city or town; the capital articles of religion.
  3. Punishable by loss of the bead or of life; incurring the forfeiture of life; punishable with death; as, treason and murder are capital offenses or crimes.
  4. Taking away life, as a capital punishment; or affecting life, as a capital trial.
  5. Great, important, though perhaps not chief; as, a town possesses capital advantages for trade.
  6. Large; of great size; as capital letters, which are of different form, and larger than common letters. Capital stock, is the sum of money or stock which a merchant, banker or manufacturer employs in his business; either the original stock or that stock augmented, Also, the sum of money or stock which each partner contributes to the joint fund or stock of the partnership; also, the common fund or stock of the company, whether incorporated or not. A capital city or town is the metropolis or chief city of an empire, kingdom, state or province. The application of the epithet indicates the city to be the largest, or to be the seat of government, or both. In many instances the capital, that is, the largest city, is not the seat of government.

CAP'I-TAL, n. [L. capitellum.]

  1. The uppermost part of a column, pillar, or pilaster, serving as the head or crowing, and placed immediatedly over the shaft, and under the entablature. – Encyc. By the customary omission of the noun, to which the adjective capital refers, it stands for,
  2. The chief city or town in a kingdom or state; a metropolis.
  3. A large letter or type, in printing.
  4. A stock in trade, in manufactures, or in any business requiring the expenditure of money with a view to profit.


A man who has a capital or stock in trade, usually denoting a man of large property, which is or may be employed in business. – Burke. Stephens.

CAP'I-TAL-LY, adv.

  1. In a capital manner; nobly; finely.
  2. With loss of life; as, to punish capitally.


A capital offense. [Little used.] – Sherwood.

CAP'I-TATE, a. [L. capitatus, from caput, a head.]

In botany, growing in a head, applied to a flower, or stigma. – Martyn. Lee.

CA-PI-TA'TION, n. [L. capitatio, from caput, the head.]

  1. Numeration by the head; a numbering of persons. – Brown.
  2. A tax, or imposition upon each head or person; a poll-tax. Sometimes written Capitation-tax. – Encyc.

CAP'I-TE, n. [L. caput, the head, abl.]

In English law, a tenant in capite, or in chief; is one who holds lands immediately of the king, caput, the head or lord paramount of all lands in the kingdom, by knight's service or by socage. This tenure is called tenure in capite; but it was abolished in England by 12 Charles II. 24. – Blackstone.

CAP'I-TOL, n. [L. capitolium, from caput, the head.]

  1. The temple of Jupiter, in Rome, and a fort or castle, on the Mons Capitolinus. In this the senate of Rome anciently assembled; and on the same place is still the city hall or town-house, where the conservators of the Romans hold their meetings. The same name was given to the principal temples of the Romans in their colonies. – Encyc.
  2. The edifice occupied by the Congress of the United States in their deliberations. In some states, the State-house, or house in which the legislature holds its sessions; a government house.


Pertaining to the capitol in Rome. – D'Anville.


Pertaining to the capitol in Rome. The Capitoline games were annual games instituted by Camillus in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the preservation of the capitol from the Gauls, and other games instituted by Domitian and celebrated every five years. – Encyc.

CA-PIT'U-LAR, or CA-PIT'U-LARY, n. [L. capitulum, a head or chapter.]

  1. An act passed in a chapter, either of knights, canons or religious.
  2. The body of laws or statutes of a chapter, or of an ecclesiastical council. This name is also given to the laws, civil and ecclesiastical, made by Charlemagne, and other princes, in general councils and assemblies of the people. Some indeed have alledged that these are supplements to laws. They are so called, because they are divided into chapters or sections. – Encyc.
  3. The member of a chapter.


In the form of an ecclesiastical chapter. – Swift.