[ kap-ri-kawrn ]
/ ˈkæp rɪˌkɔrn /
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Astronomy. the Goat, a zodiacal constellation between Sagittarius and Aquarius.
  1. the tenth sign of the zodiac: the cardinal earth sign.
  2. a person born under this sign, usually between December 22nd and January 19th.
tropic of Capricorn. See under tropic (def. 1a).
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Also Capricornus (for defs. 1, 2) .

Origin of Capricorn

1350–1400; Middle English Capricorne<Latin Capricornus (translation of Greek aigókerōs goat-horned), equivalent to capri-capri- + corn(u) horn + -us adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does Capricorn mean?

Capricorn is the name of a constellation that is interpreted as resembling a goat. It is also called The Goat.

A constellation is a group of stars that appear near each other in the sky—especially a group that has been given a name. Capricorn is considered one of the 12 zodiacal constellations—constellations that appear within a particular portion of the sky called the zodiac.

In astronomy, the zodiac is the band of sky along which the paths of the sun, the moon, and the planets appear to move.

Despite its basis in astronomy, the word zodiac is mainly associated with and most often used in the context of astrology, the nonscientific practice in which the positions of heavenly bodies at certain times are thought to influence or be correlated with human behavior and events. In astrology, zodiac refers to a diagram (often a circular one) representing the zodiac belt and showing the symbols associated with each of the 12 constellations or sections, which are called the signs of the zodiac. Capricorn is one of these signs. It is situated between Sagittarius and Aquarius and is considered the tenth sign of the zodiac.

The other signs of the zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Pisces.

The position of the sun in a particular portion of the zodiac at the moment of a person’s birth is thought to correlate with their personality. This is what people are referring to when they talk about their zodiac sign (or star sign or often just sign). People whose sign is Capricorn are those born between December 22 and January 19.

The word Capricorn can be used as a noun to refer to someone who is born during this time, as in I was born in early January, so I’m a Capricorn. The word Capricornian can be used to mean the same thing. It can also be used as an adjective form of Capricorn.

Example: Dara is such a Capricorn—she’s so confident and creative.

Capricorn dates

People with the sign Capricorn are traditionally considered to be those born in the range of December 22–January 19. However, interpretations vary.

Where does Capricorn come from?

The first records of the word Capricorn in English come from the late 1300s. It comes from the Latin Capricornus, a translation of the Greek aigókerōs, meaning “goat-horned.”

In astrology, the different signs of the zodiac are thought to be associated with certain personality traits. Traits associated with Capricorn include creativity and confidence. Capricorn and the other signs of the zodiac are often used in the context of a person’s horoscope. The word horoscope can refer to a diagram of the heavens that maps the relative position of planets and the signs of the zodiac. It can also refer to a prediction based (or said to be based) on a person’s sign and the location of other celestial bodies at the time they were born.

The imaginary line that circles the globe about one-quarter of the way between the equator and the South Pole is called the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s the point at which the Sun is directly overhead during the December solstice. (The line known as the Tropic of Cancer is between the equator and the North Pole.)

It’s called the Tropic of Capricorn because, when it was named, the Sun was in the constellation Capricorn at the time of the December solstice.


Get more insight into what really defines a Capricorn by visiting our article on the many traits of Capricorns.

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What are some other forms related to Capricorn?

What are some synonyms for Capricorn?

  • The Goat
  • Capricornian (when Capricorn is used as a noun referring to a person)

What are some words that share a root or word element with Capricorn?

What are some words that often get used in discussing Capricorn?

How is Capricorn used in real life?

The word Capricorn is used to refer to the constellation or the sign of the zodiac named after the constellation. In the context of astrology, people associate a number of different traits with the sign Capricorn.

Try using Capricorn!

True or False?

The constellation Capricorn is situated between Sagittarius and Aquarius.

How to use Capricorn in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Capricorn

/ (ˈkæprɪˌkɔːn) /

  1. Also called: the Goat, Capricornus the tenth sign of the zodiac, symbol ♑, having a cardinal earth classification and ruled by the planet Saturn. The sun is in this sign between about Dec 22 and Jan 19
  2. a person born during the period when the sun is in this sign
astronomy another name for Capricornus
tropic of Capricorn See tropic (def. 1)
astrology born under or characteristic of Capricorn
Also (for senses 1b, 4): Capricornean (ˌkæprɪˈkɔːnɪən)

Word Origin for Capricorn

C14: from Latin Capricornus (translating Greek aigokerōs goat-horned), from caper goat + cornū horn
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

Scientific definitions for Capricorn

[ kăprĭ-kôrn′ ]
Capricornus (kăp′rĭ-kôrnəs)

A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Aquarius and Sagittarius. Capricorn (the Goat) is the tenth sign of the zodiac.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.