• synonyms


[kuh-pich-uh-luh m]
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noun, plural ca·pit·u·la [kuh-pich-uh-luh] /kəˈpɪtʃ ə lə/.
  1. Biology. any globose or knoblike part, as a flower head or the head of a bone.
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Origin of capitulum

1715–25; < Latin, equivalent to capit- (stem of caput) head + -ulum, neuter of -ulus -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for capitulum


noun plural -la (-lə)
  1. a racemose inflorescence in the form of a disc of sessile flowers, the youngest at the centre. It occurs in the daisy and related plants
  2. anatomy zoology a headlike part, esp the enlarged knoblike terminal part of a long bone, antenna, etc
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin, literally: a little 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 capitulum


used in various senses in English; Latin, literally "little head," diminutive of caput "head," also "leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city; origin, source, spring," figuratively "life, physical life;" in writing "a division, paragraph;" of money, "the principal sum," from PIE *kaput- "head" (see head (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

capitulum in Medicine


n. pl. ca•pit•u•la (-lə)
  1. A small head or rounded articular extremity of a bone.
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Related formsca•pitu•lar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

capitulum in Science


Plural capitula
  1. A small knob or head-shaped part, such as a protuberance of a bone or the tip of an insect's antenna.
  2. An inflorescence consisting of a compact mass of small stalkless flowers, as in the English daisy. The yellow central portion of the capitulum of a daisy consists of disk flowers, while the outer white, petallike structures are actually ray flowers. The capitulum is the characteristic inflorescence of the composite family (Asteraceae) of flowering plants.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.