[ kap-tuh n, -tin ]
/ ˈkæp tən, -tɪn /


verb (used with object)

to lead or command as a captain.

Origin of captain

1325–75; Middle English capitain < Anglo-French capitain, captayn < Late Latin capitāneus chief, equivalent to capit- (stem of caput) head + -ān(us) -an + -eus -eous

Related forms

sub·cap·tain, nounun·cap·tained, adjectiveun·der·cap·tain, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for captain

British Dictionary definitions for captain


/ (ˈkæptɪn) /



(tr) to be captain of

Derived Forms

captaincy or captainship, noun

Word Origin for captain

C14: from Old French capitaine, from Late Latin capitāneus chief, 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