[ nahyt-kap ]
See synonyms for nightcap on
  1. Informal. an alcoholic drink taken at bedtime or at the end of a festive evening.

  2. a cap for the head, intended primarily to be worn in bed.

  1. Sports Informal. the last event of the program for the day, especially the second game of a doubleheader in baseball or the last race of the day in horse racing.

Origin of nightcap

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at night, cap1

Other words from nightcap

  • nightcapped, adjective

Words Nearby nightcap Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nightcap in a sentence

  • That night, about a week before Thanksgiving, Salahi invited her to his hotel room for a nightcap.

  • Elaine was always happy to see me, although she didn't bother to hide her irritation when I'd come for a nightcap.

  • Mrs. Biggs opened her window cautiously, and thrust out her head, minus her false hair, and enveloped in a cotton nightcap.

    The Cromptons | Mary J. Holmes
  • Only first exchange that nightcap for some more appropriate covering, or we shall be taken for madmen.

  • When the guests are well emptied of theology, everyone takes his nightcap—the signal for breaking up.

    Friend Mac Donald | Max O'Rell
  • The nightcap is generally the little whisky left in the decanter; to do it honour, it is taken neat.

    Friend Mac Donald | Max O'Rell
  • He wore a nightcap with a tassel, and for days never left his room, occasionally appearing in a faded peacock-blue dressing-gown.

    The Woman Gives | Owen Johnson

British Dictionary definitions for nightcap


/ (ˈnaɪtˌkæp) /

  1. a bedtime drink, esp an alcoholic or hot one

  2. a soft cap formerly worn in bed

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