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From the participle stem of Medieval Latin capitulare (draw up under headings), from Latin capitulum (heading, chapter, title), diminutive of caput (head).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kəˈpɪ.tjʊ.leɪt/, /kəˈpɪ.tʃə.leɪt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /kəˈpɪtʃ.jʊ.leɪt/, /kəˈpɪtʃ.jə.leɪt/
  • (file)


capitulate (third-person singular simple present capitulates, present participle capitulating, simple past and past participle capitulated)

  1. (obsolete) To draw up in chapters; to enumerate.
  2. (obsolete) To draw up the articles of treaty with; to treat, bargain, parley.
    • Heylin
      there capitulates with the king [] to take to wife his daughter Mary
  3. To agree terms of surrender; to end all resistance, to give up; to go along with or comply.
    He argued and hollered for so long that I finally capitulated just to make him stop.
    • Macaulay
      The Irish, after holding out a week, capitulated.

Related terms[edit]