Definition of Capuchin in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkapʊtʃɪn/


1A friar belonging to a branch of the Franciscan order that observes a strict rule drawn up in 1529.
Example sentences
  • One of the major events to take place in the month of June was the Canonisation of Padre Pio - a Capuchin monk with a huge Irish following.
  • He was ordained a priest in the Capuchin order in 1946 and was given the religious name of Lucian.
  • On Christmas Eve 1896, he entered St. Bonaventure Monastery, headquarters for the St. Joseph Province of the Capuchins in the United States.
2A cloak and hood formerly worn by women.
Example sentences
  • Regency wraps have many strange and wonderful names but are basically capes (shawls, mantles, pelerines, capes, cloaks, capuchins).
  • Mantua-makers also made all sorts of loose garments, cloaks, cardinals, capuchins, etc.
  • Ladies formerly wore cloaks as their chief over-coats; they were used with some changes of form under the successive names of roquelaus, capuchins, and cardinals.
3 (capuchin or capuchin monkey) A South American monkey with a cap of hair on the head which has the appearance of a cowl.
  • Genus Cebus, family Cebidae: four species.
Example sentences
  • I have spent many hours here photographing the cock-of-the-rock, the brown capuchin monkey (far right) and many insects, including long-legged flies.
  • The brown capuchin monkey, a seed predator, can recognize which fruits are about to open on a Cariniana micrantha tree, above.
  • Again, the capuchin monkey cannot be unequivocally assigned to either the typical anthropoid or nonprimate pattern.
4 (capuchin) A pigeon of a breed with head and neck feathers resembling a cowl.
Example sentences
  • Groups of male capuchin birds attract females with sounds like the whine of some outer-space cicada insect crossed with a sick cow: ‘mmmmmmmm-WOW!’
  • In our wide territory, different kinds of ducks can be found such as: golden-coloured ducks, red shoveler, pintails, capuchin pigeon, and whistling ducks.
  • There is also a capuchin pigeon with a feathery topknot.


Late 16th century: from obsolete French, earlier form of capucin, from Italian cappuccino, from cappuccio 'hood, cowl', from cappa (see cape1), the friars being so named because of their sharp-pointed hoods.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Capu|chin

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