There are 3 main definitions of cap in English:

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cap 1

Pronunciation: /kap/


1A kind of soft, flat hat without a brim, and sometimes having a visor.
Example sentences
  • He wore a flat cap, old woolen trousers, and a brown shirt that was several sizes too large for him.
  • Outside the grand clubhouse at the Legends course, at the heart of Château Elan, you almost expect chaps to be wandering around in plus-fours and flat caps.
  • Most men covered their heads with flat wool caps or skullcaps or turbans in a variety of sizes and colours.
1.1 [with adjective or noun modifier] A kind of soft, close-fitting head covering worn for a particular purpose or as a mark of a particular profession or status: a nurse’s cap a bathing cap
More example sentences
  • Those early wheelmen didn't have bicycle helmets, but they did wear close-fitting long-visored caps.
  • Opened in November 2001, it's run by two brothers with similar close-cut reddish beards, ethnic clothes and close-fitting caps.
  • If you think you can pull off any look, then I suggest you try on this chalk-stripe driving cap.
1.2An academic mortarboard: graduates in cap and gown
More example sentences
  • But in field after field, paper journals are becoming like academic caps and gowns, a purely ceremonial relict of an obsolete culture.
  • The same percentage of MIT engineering graduates in their caps and gowns could not light a bulb with a battery and one wire.
  • Your proud high school graduate has gone from caps and gowns to the fast-paced, challenging world of summer jobs.
2A protective lid or cover for an object such as a bottle, the point of a pen, or a camera lens.
Example sentences
  • She pointedly puts the cap on her camera lens and walks with him.
  • Someone cleared their throat, and Artemesia straightened up, snapping the lens cap onto the camera.
  • This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foil - these are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposals.
lid, top;
stopper, cork, bung
2.1 Dentistry An artificial protective covering for a tooth.
Example sentences
  • Then, Bodine suffered a concussion and a broken collarbone and needed eight caps for his teeth because of a practice crash at Michigan.
  • Her whole jaw was bruised, her cap for her tooth cost £404.
  • While your dentist might still recommend an apple a day and be able to fit natural-looking caps, the latest orthodontic innovations concentrate on stopping decay before it has a chance to do any damage.
2.2The top of a bird’s head when distinctively colored.
Example sentences
  • Their heads are also relatively smaller and their gray caps less distinct than the Cooper's.
  • The crane has light to dark blue-gray plumage and a crimson cap at the back of its crown.
  • Males and females look the same, with white chins extending up just below the eyes and gray-brown caps.
2.3The broad upper part of the fruiting body of most mushrooms and toadstools, at the top of a stem and bearing gills or pores.
Example sentences
  • Coral mushrooms do not have caps but instead have a fruiting body of branched clusters.
  • The cap & stem that we commonly eat is just the fruiting body.
  • Five tall, slender mushrooms with yellow stems and glowing orange caps reach through the decaying foliage toward the sky as ants burrow underground.
3An upper limit imposed on spending or other activities: a cap on government purchases
More example sentences
  • He promises to impose spending caps and offset spending increases with mandatory spending cuts or tax increases.
  • He was complaining about the absence of a cap in campaign spending before the formal election period, even though it was his party that exploited this loophole prior to the last election.
  • This time around, spending caps may not be enough.
limit, upper limit, ceiling;
curb, check
4 short for percussion cap.
Example sentences
  • So, before you buy that cap gun or bouncing ball for your child, take some precautions.
  • We started selling snap caps a little over a year ago.
  • Like many boys he had been fascinated with guns when a young child and had the usual cap guns and nerd guns.

verb (caps, capped, capping)

[with object]
1Put a lid or cover on: he capped his pen
More example sentences
  • After capping it, the bottle should be shaken for 20 seconds.
  • He said that there have been discussions to change the technology of capping the wine bottles but so far the cork has remained.
  • When I capped the pen and folded the paper R. asked with surprise, ‘You're done?’
1.1Form a covering layer or top part of: several towers were capped by domes [as adjective, in combination]: (-capped) snow-capped mountains
More example sentences
  • The controversial hole in the ground will be capped with a layer of clay when planning permission runs out in December and landfill operators begin what they call ‘restoration’ of the site.
  • The radiocarbon-dated feature that produced the wild rice was located at the bottom of an undisturbed Late Woodland midden that had been capped with a layer of sterile sand.
  • Reclamation dredging is nearing completion and all reclaimed land will then be capped with a layer of rock, imported from a nearby quarry.
1.2Put an artificial protective covering on (a tooth).
Example sentences
  • Coals flashed Marcus a grin, so full of perfectly capped teeth, so taut at the lips, so fleshy at the gum line that for a split second the image of a shark in an expensive wool suit was unavoidable.
  • If they've got bad teeth, you'll cap the teeth, if they need a makeover, you give them a makeover.
  • The scenes that are presumably supposed to depict camaraderie are hilariously forced; three sets of perfectly capped teeth clenched into rictus grins of barely suppressed hatred.
1.3Provide a fitting climax or conclusion to: he capped a memorable season by becoming champion
More example sentences
  • It capped a memorable first season in charge for Wetheriggs manager Andrew Ridley, his assistant Bob Norman and coach Paul Renwick.
  • Katie Heginbotham from Barrows Green triumphed at HOYS to cap a memorable season.
  • The Reds, however, were not finished and they capped a memorable afternoon with a fifth try in the final minute when Darren Treacy forced his way over from close range.
round off, crown, top off, be a fitting climax to
1.4Follow or reply to (a story, remark, or joke) by producing a better or more apposite one: they capped each other’s stories
More example sentences
  • Cave's not a lunatic on a killing spree; he's a lovelorn bombmaker, and he caps this cinematic story of devotion with a spirited sing-along.
  • Mac McMurray capped this story by saying a townsman had a piece of petrified fence post with the drilled holes for wire with a piece of the wire attached.
  • Ruth would have felt the need to cap the comment in some way, or qualify it, or even dismiss it out of hand as arrant nonsense.
2Place a limit or restriction on (prices, expenditure, or other activity): council budgets will be capped
More example sentences
  • If it caps the price of wonder drugs, pharmaceutical companies will fight it.
  • One of the most controversial recommendations of the report calls for the government to endorse a package of measures to fundamentally reform the property market by capping the price of development land.
  • He said he hoped the government's measure to cap fuel prices should not last too long because it could have repercussions in the long run.
set a limit on, limit, restrict;
curb, control



cap (or hat) in hand

Humbly asking for a favor: we have to go cap in hand begging for funds
More example sentences
  • Tight new spending limits are set to be imposed on Britain's political parties to stop them going cap in hand to donors angling for peerages, knighthoods and other favours.
  • With every voter putting no more than five dollars into the Clean Money pool, candidates won't have to go hat in hand to lobbyists and fat cats, instead spending their time talking to voters.
  • Rather than going hat in hand to pharmaceutical executives, Canada uses single-payer's price controls to cap drug prices.

set one's cap for (or at)

dated (Of a woman) try to attract (a particular man) as a suitor.
Example sentences
  • Had she picked a Lord, or a Viscount, or someone of standard to set her cap at then her father wouldn't have voiced a single complaint.
  • Into this mix Brooks introduces two young catalysts, journalist Eve, who immediately draws Dan's attentions, and easygoing Gord, who sets his cap for Gena.
  • A brutalised war veteran, Harvey has begun a steamed - up adulterous affair with Signoret and finally found something like love, but sets his cap for a millionaire factory boss's daughter.



Pronunciation: /ˈkapˌfo͝ol/
noun (plural capfuls)
Example sentences
  • I like to incorporate a capful of liquid wetting agent into the water when I am feeding my annuals, vegetables, pot plants and hanging baskets with soluble fertiliser.
  • The next stage is to soak them for a day or so in a diluted solution of household bleach (say two pints of water to a capful of bleach).
  • A cup of white vinegar or one capful of eucalyptus oil may be added to the soapy water as a disinfectant and freshener.


Old English cæppe 'hood', from late Latin cappa, perhaps from Latin caput 'head'.

  • We get our word cap from Latin cappa ‘hood’, which may be related to Latin caput ‘head’. Cape (late 16th century), ‘a cloak’, also come from cappa, while the geographical cape (Late Middle English) goes back to caput. The same source gives us chaperone (Late Middle English) first recorded as a hood. A person providing protection or cover by accompanying another, dates from the early 18th century. The saying if the cap fits, wear it goes back to a dunce's cap, of the kind that poor performers at school had to wear as a mark of disgrace. Americans use the version if the shoe fits, wear it. See also chapel

Words that rhyme with cap

bap, chap, clap, dap, entrap, enwrap, flap, frap, gap, giftwrap, hap, knap, lap, Lapp, map, nap, nappe, pap, rap, sap, schappe, scrap, slap, snap, strap, tap, trap, wrap, yap, zap
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There are 3 main definitions of cap in English:

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cap 2

Pronunciation: /kap/


Short for capitalization. [as modifier]: mid-cap companies small-cap stocks
More example sentences
  • The cap is short for capitalization, which is a measure by which we can classify a company's size.
  • It used to be companies evaluated their size based on revenue and number of people; now it's market cap or market valuation.
  • There is a positive impact on earnings per share, cash flow, market cap and share prices.
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There are 3 main definitions of cap in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsēˌāˈpē/


Civil Air Patrol.
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