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capitation

[kap-i-tey-shuh n]
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noun
  1. a numbering or assessing by the head.
  2. a poll tax.
  3. a fee or payment of a uniform amount for each person.
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Origin of capitation

1605–15; (< F) < Late Latin capitātiōn- (stem of capitātiō), equivalent to Latin capit- (stem of caput) head + -ātiōn -ation
Related formscap·i·ta·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for capitation

Historical Examples

  • Provision was made for the capitation tax in the Constitution of 1867-68.

    The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917

    Various

  • No class was exempt from taxation—no dignity or privilege from capitation.

  • These are the capitation tax on sheep, and the export duties on wine and silk.

    Cyprus

    Franz von Lher

  • No taxes were to be levied on them except the capitation tax.

  • Since the peace, she has taken off but a single vingtième, or shilling in the pound, and some small matter in the capitation.


British Dictionary definitions for capitation

capitation

noun
  1. a tax levied on the basis of a fixed amount per head
  2. capitation grant a grant of money given to every person who qualifies under certain conditions
  3. the process of assessing or numbering by counting heads
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Derived Formscapitative, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin capitātiō, from Latin 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 capitation

n.

1610s, "counting of heads," from Late Latin capitationem (nominative capitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of a verb derived from caput "head" (see capitulum). Meaning "levying of a poll tax" is from 1640s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper