[kap-sahyz, kap-sahyz]

verb (used with or without object), cap·sized, cap·siz·ing.

to turn bottom up; overturn: The boat capsized. They capsized the boat.

Origin of capsize

First recorded in 1780–90; origin uncertain
Related formscap·siz·a·ble, adjectivenon·cap·siz·a·ble, adjectiveun·cap·siz·a·ble, adjectiveun·cap·sized, adjective

Synonyms for capsize

See upset.

Antonyms for capsize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for capsize

Contemporary Examples of capsize

Historical Examples of capsize

  • The ferry-boat rocked like a sieve and was about to capsize.

  • When a boat is topheavy or its center of gravity is too high, the boat is liable to capsize.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • Suppose the great monster did come up and capsize them—they were ever so far from land.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Capsize her and let her drift,” said the leader of the party.


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Jack helped me in and then I balanced his effort so as not to capsize again.

    A Canyon Voyage

    Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

British Dictionary definitions for capsize



to overturn accidentally; upset
Derived Formscapsizal, noun

Word Origin for capsize

C18: of uncertain origin
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 capsize

1780 (transitive); 1792 (intransitive), a nautical word of obscure origin, perhaps (as Skeat suggests) from Spanish capuzar "to sink by the head," from cabo "head," from Latin caput (see capitulum). For sense, cf. French chavirer "to capsize, upset," faire capot "capsize;" Provençal cap virar "to turn the head." Related: Capsized; capsizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper