Definition of Capuchin in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkap(y)ə(t)SHən/
Pronunciation: /kəˈp(y)o͞o(t)SHən/


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.
2 (capuchin) A 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 that has the appearance of a cowl.
  • Genus Cebus, family Cebidae: four species, including the brown capuchin (C. apella).
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

Syllabification: Cap·u·chin

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