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[mad-kap] /ˈmædˌkæp/
wildly or heedlessly impulsive; reckless; rash:
a madcap scheme.
a madcap person.
Origin of madcap
1580-90; mad + cap1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for madcap
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I hope and trust, since my madcap niece is bound to take her trip, that you will come along to keep her company.

  • Come down to breakfast, madcap, and come down lightly, or you'll wake your mother.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Adieu, madcap; and believe me ever, your affectionate Friend and humble Servant.

  • Not a word all the while of her whom madame had sworn should pay for her madcap freak of to-day.

    Little Nobody Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • To bill her in her present state as the madcap American would be sheer folly.

    Love Stories Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for madcap


impulsive, reckless, or lively
an impulsive, reckless, or lively person
Word Origin
C16: from mad + cap (in the figurative sense: head)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for madcap

1580s, noun and adjective, from mad (adj.) + cap, used here figuratively for "head." Related: Madcappery.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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madcap in Technology

Math and set problems, for the Maniac II and CDC 6600. "MADCAP - A Scientific Compiler for a Displayed Formula Texbook Language", M.B. Wells, CACM 4(1):31-36 (Jan 1961). Sammet 1969, pp.271-281. Versions: Madcap 5 (1964), Madcap 6. "The Unified Data Structure Capability in Madcap 6", M.B. Wells et al, Intl J Comp Info Sci 1(3) (sep 1972).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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