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whitecap

[hwahyt-kap, wahyt-]
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noun
  1. a wave with a broken and foaming white crest.
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Origin of whitecap

First recorded in 1660–70; white + cap1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for whitecap

rush, stream, swell, upsurge, rash, surge, tide, flood, outbreak, sign, crest, influx, movement, undulation, fold, billow, curl, breaker, line, furrow

Examples from the Web for whitecap

Historical Examples of whitecap

  • A whitecap foamed above it and broke across in a snow-white smother.

    The Sea-Wolf

    Jack London

  • He is too near the water now; the glare and the dancing waves bother him; he loses his gleam of silver in the flash of a whitecap.

    Wood Folk at School

    William J. Long

  • And d'ye think I didn't see Mr. Whitecap going down, afore ye thought o' a row yerself?

    Gwen Wynn

    Mayne Reid

  • But the shore was protected by a double line of reefs, so close in that the channel between did not show a whitecap.

    Into the Primitive

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • In a wave without a whitecap the water returns to practically the original point after completing a circle beneath the surface.

    Climatic Changes

    Ellsworth Huntington


British Dictionary definitions for whitecap

whitecap

noun
  1. a wave with a white broken crest
  2. US a member of a vigilante organization that attempts to control a community
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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 whitecap

n.

1660s, of birds, from white + cap (n.). Attested from 1773 in reference to breaking waves, from 1818 of mushrooms, and from 1891 in reference to "one of a self-constituted band in U.S. who committed outrages under pretense of regulating public morals" [OED].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper