caper

1
[ key-per ]
/ ˈkeɪ pər /
|||

verb (used without object)

to leap or skip about in a sprightly manner; prance; frisk; gambol.

noun

a playful leap or skip.
a prank or trick; harebrained escapade.
a frivolous, carefree episode or activity.
Slang. a criminal or illegal act, as a burglary or robbery.

Idioms

    cut a caper. cut(def 84).

Origin of caper

1
1585–95; figurative use of Latin caper he-goat (cognate with Old English hæfer, Old Norse hafr, Old Irish caera sheep < a West IE term *kap-(e)ro- for a domesticated smaller animal); for the meaning, cf. dog (v.)
Related formsca·per·er, nounca·per·ing·ly, adverbun·ca·per·ing, adjective

Definition for caper (2 of 2)

caper

2
[ key-per ]
/ ˈkeɪ pər /

noun

a spiny shrub, Capparis spinosa, of Mediterranean regions, having roundish leaves and solitary white flowers.
its flower bud, which is pickled and used for garnish or seasoning.
Compare caper family.

Origin of caper

2
1350–1400; back formation from capers (taken for plural), Middle English caperes < Latin capparis < Greek kápparis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caper

British Dictionary definitions for caper (1 of 2)

caper

1
/ (ˈkeɪpə) /

noun

verb

(intr) to leap or dance about in a light-hearted manner
Derived Formscaperer, nouncaperingly, adverb

Word Origin for caper

C16: probably from capriole

British Dictionary definitions for caper (2 of 2)

caper

2
/ (ˈkeɪpə) /

noun

a spiny trailing Mediterranean capparidaceous shrub, Capparis spinosa, with edible flower buds
any of various similar plants or their edible partsSee also bean caper, capers

Word Origin for caper

C15: from earlier capers, capres (assumed to be plural), from Latin capparis, from Greek kapparis
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