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[key-pon, -puh n]
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  1. a cockerel castrated to improve the flesh for use as food.
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Origin of capon

before 1000; Middle English; Old English capun < Latin capōn- (stem of capō) castrated cock; akin to Greek kóptein to cut, OCS skopiti to castrate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for capon

Historical Examples

  • Its plumage is a whitish grey; and it is about the size of a capon.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • How the capon was “invented” is told in a note on the subject.

  • Escanes wants a cook who can fry a capon in a special way they wot of in Gaul.

    "Unto Caesar"

    Baroness Emmuska Orczy

  • He talked of peppering his people as I would talk of peppering a capon.

  • Mr Capon and Mr Contract, at their own request, went as passengers.

    The King's Own

    Captain Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for capon


  1. a castrated cock fowl fattened for eating
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Word Origin

Old English capun, from Latin cāpō capon; related to Greek koptein to cut off
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 capon


"a castrated cock," late Old English capun, from Latin caponem (nominative capo) "castrated cock" (also source of French chapon, Spanish capon, Italian cappone), perhaps literally "to strike off," from PIE root *(s)kep- "to cut" (see hatchet (n.)). Probably reinforced in Middle English by cognate Old North French capon.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper