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See also: kapitan and kapitán


1. ein Kapitän


From Middle High German kapitān, borrowed (13th c.) in the military sense from Old French capitaine (leader), from Late Latin capitāneus. The nautical sense (15th c.) follows Italian capitano. The sport sense (early 20th c.) follows English captain.


  • IPA(key): /kapiˈtɛːn/, [ka.piˈtɛːn], [-pɪ-], [-ˈteːn]
  • (file)


Kapitän m (strong, genitive Kapitäns or (rare, nonstandard) Kapitänes, plural Kapitäne, feminine Kapitänin)

  1. (nautical, aviation) captain
    Synonyms: (all informal) Käpt'n, Käpten, Kaptein
    • 1915, Else Ury, “Nesthäkchen im Kinderheim”, in Karl-Maria Guth, editor, Nesthäkchen Gesamtausgabe in zwei Bänden. Erster Band, published 2016, page 327:
      Es war Frau Kapitän Clarsen, Annemaries Pensionsmutter.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. (military, navy) Short for Kapitän zur See (captain: high-level officer rank equivalent to an army colonel).
  3. (other military, obsolete, except in translation of cognate words) captain (medium-level officer rank)
    Synonym: Hauptmann
  4. (sports) captain (player who leads a team and serves as contact person for the referee)
    Synonym: Spielführer


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kapitän” in Duden online
  • Kapitän” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache



Kapitän m (plural Kapitäns)

  1. captain