- a close-fitting covering for the head, usually of soft supple material and having no visor or brim.
- a brimless head covering with a visor, as a baseball cap.
- a headdress denoting rank, occupation, religious order, or the like: a nurse's cap.
- mortarboard(def 2).
- Mathematics. the symbol ∩, used to indicate the intersection of two sets.Compare intersection(def 3a).
- anything resembling or suggestive of a covering for the head in shape, use, or position: a cap on a bottle.
- summit; top; acme.
- a maximum limit, as one set by law or agreement on prices, wages, spending, etc., during a certain period of time; ceiling: a 9 percent cap on pay increases for this year.
- Mycology. the pileus of a mushroom.
- Botany. calyptra(def 1).
- Mining. a short, horizontal beam at the top of a prop for supporting part of a roof.
- a percussion cap.
- British Sports. a selection for a representative team, usually for a national squad.
- a noise-making device for toy pistols, made of a small quantity of explosive wrapped in paper or other thin material.
- Nautical. a fitting of metal placed over the head of a spar, as a mast or bowsprit, and having a collar for securing an additional spar.
- a new tread applied to a worn pneumatic tire.
- Architecture. a capital.
- Carpentry. a metal plate placed over the iron of a plane to break the shavings as they rise.
- Fox Hunting. capping fee.
- Chiefly British Slang. a contraceptive diaphragm.
- to provide or cover with or as if with a cap.
- to complete.
- follow up with something as good or better; surpass; outdo: to cap one joke with another.
- to serve as a cap, covering, or top to; overlie.
- to put a maximum limit on (prices, wages, spending, etc.).
- British Sports. to select (a player) for a representative team.
- Fox Hunting. to hunt with a hunting club of which one is not a member, on payment of a capping fee.
- cap in hand, humbly; in supplication: He went to his father cap in hand and begged his forgiveness.
- set one's cap for, to pursue as being a potential mate.
Origin of cap1
- a covering for the head, esp a small close-fitting one made of cloth or knitted
- such a covering serving to identify the wearer's rank, occupation, etca nurse's cap
- something that protects or covers, esp a small lid or coverlens cap
- an uppermost surface or partthe cap of a wave
- See percussion cap
- a small amount of explosive enclosed in paper and used in a toy gun
- sport, mainly British
- an emblematic hat or beret given to someone chosen for a representative teamhe has won three England caps
- a player chosen for such a team
- the upper part of a pedestal in a classical order
- the roof of a windmill, sometimes in the form of a dome
- botany the pileus of a mushroom or toadstool
- money contributed to the funds of a hunt by a follower who is neither a subscriber nor a farmer, in return for a day's hunting
- a collection taken at a meet of hounds, esp for a charity
- the natural enamel covering a tooth
- an artificial protective covering for a tooth
- See Dutch cap (def. 2)
- an upper financial limit
- a mortarboard when worn with a gown at an academic ceremony (esp in the phrase cap and gown)
- the cloud covering the peak of a mountain
- the transient top of detached clouds above an increasing cumulus
- cap in hand humbly, as when asking a favour
- if the cap fits British the allusion or criticism seems to be appropriate to a particular person
- set one's cap for or set one's cap at (of a woman) to be determined to win as a husband or lover
- to cover, as with a capsnow capped the mountain tops
- informal to outdo; excelyour story caps them all; to cap an anecdote
- to cap it all to provide the finishing touchwe had sun, surf, cheap wine, and to cap it all a free car
- sport, British to select (a player) for a representative teamhe was capped 30 times by Scotland
- to seal off (an oil or gas well)
- to impose an upper limit on the level of increase of (a tax, such as the council tax)rate-capping
- hunting to ask (hunt followers) for a cap
- mainly Scot and NZ to award a degree to
- Common Agricultural Policy: (in the EU) the system for supporting farm incomes by maintaining agricultural prices at agreed levels
Word Origin and History for cap in hand
c.1400, "to put a cap on," from cap (n.). Meaning "cover as with s cap" is from c.1600. Figurative sense of "go one better" is from 1580s. Related: Capped; capping.
late Old English cæppe "hood, head-covering, cape," from Late Latin cappa "a cape, hooded cloak" (source of Spanish capa, Old North French cape, French chape), possibly a shortened from capitulare "headdress," from Latin caput "head" (see head (n.)).
Meaning "women's head covering" is early 13c. in English; extended to men late 14c. Figurative thinking cap is from 1839 (considering cap is 1650s). Of cap-like coverings on the ends of anything (e.g. hub-cap) from mid-15c. Meaning "contraceptive device" is first recorded 1916. That of "cap-shaped piece of copper lined with gunpowder and used to ignite a firearm" is c.1826; extended to paper version used in toy pistols, 1872 (cap-pistol is from 1879).
The Late Latin word apparently originally meant "a woman's head-covering," but the sense was transferred to "hood of a cloak," then to "cloak" itself, though the various senses co-existed. Old English took in two forms of the Late Latin word, one meaning "head-covering," the other "ecclesiastical dress" (see cape (n.1)). In most Romance languages, a diminutive of Late Latin cappa has become the usual word for "head-covering" (e.g. French chapeau).
- A protective cover or seal, especially one that closes off an end or a tip and that resembles a close-fitting head covering.
- catabolite gene activator protein
Idioms and Phrases with cap in hand
cap in hand
see under hat in hand.