• synonyms


[key-pee-uh s, kap-ee-]
noun Law.
  1. a writ commanding an officer to take a specified person into custody.
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Origin of capias

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin: literally, you are to take, subjunctive 2nd person singular of capere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for capias

Historical Examples

  • So also said Judge Adams, and Mr. Capias, and all the people.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

  • Safe-conduct passes for knaves are writs of capias to honest men.

  • "It is important that he should be arrested on this capias," said Bagsley.

    The Frontiersmen

    Gustave Aimard

  • Viam Francofurdi capias, quam autem hac periculosiorem esse putamus.

  • Mr. Capias was so eloquent that the people stamped till the house fairly shook with applause.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

British Dictionary definitions for capias


  1. law (formerly) a writ directing a sheriff or other officer to arrest a named person
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin, literally: you must take, from capere
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

Word Origin and History for capias


writ of arrest issued by a court, mid-15c., from Latin capias, literally "thou mayest take," typical first word of such a writ; properly 2nd person singular present subjunctive of capere "to catch, seize, hold" (see capable).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper