• synonyms


  1. Botany. forming or shaped like a head or dense cluster.
  2. Biology. having an enlarged or swollen, headlike termination.
Show More

Origin of capitate

1655–65; < Latin capitātus headed, equivalent to capit- (stem of caput) head + -ātus -ate1
Related formsmul·ti·cap·i·tate, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for capitate

Historical Examples

  • Valve linear, with protracted, sub-rostrate or capitate ends.

    The Diatomaceae of Philadelphia and Vicinity

    Charles Sumner Boyer

  • There are five stamens, a filiform style, and a capitate stigma.

  • The tentacles are all capitate and distributed, and about 2-1/2 times the body length.

  • Pistils from five to ten, capitate at their summits, affixed laterally to the middle of the seeds, as in Alchemilla.

    Lachesis Lapponica

    Carl von Linn

  • The ovary has a thick style and capitate stigma (c), and the fruit is a drupe (d).

British Dictionary definitions for capitate


  1. botany shaped like a head, as certain flowers or inflorescences
  2. zoology having an enlarged headlike enda capitate bone
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from Latin capitātus having a (large) head, from caput 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

Word Origin and History for capitate


"head-shaped," 1660s, from Latin capitatus "headed," from caput "head" (see capitulum).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

capitate in Medicine


  1. Enlarged and globular at the tip, as a bone of the wrist having a rounded, knoblike end.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

capitate in Science


  1. The largest of the carpal bones.
Show More
  1. Forming a headlike mass or dense cluster, as the flowers of plants in the composite family.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.