From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Caprice


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Borrowed from French caprice, from Italian capriccio, from caporiccio (fright, sudden start). Doublet of capriccio and chevron. Ultimately from Latin caper (goat).


  • IPA(key): /kəˈpɹiːs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːs


caprice (plural caprices)

  1. An impulsive, seemingly unmotivated action, change of mind, or notion.
    Synonym: whim
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXI, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 244:
      Though more thoughtful than Madame de Mercœur, yet it asked far more knowledge of society—that wilderness of small intricacies—for her to penetrate into the motives of those who seemed so suddenly struck with her fascination; but she was too clear-headed to be deceived, and set it all down under one general belief in caprice.
    • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “The Honourable Mr. Glascock”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, [], →OCLC, page 107:
      It would have been a great privilege to be the mistress of an old time-honoured mansion, to call oaks and elms her own, to know that acres of gardens were submitted to her caprices, to look at herds of cows and oxen, and be aware that they lowed on her own pastures.
    • 1899, Harold MacGrath, Arms and the Woman[1]:
      She is said to be the finest swordswoman on the Continent. Yet, notwithstanding her caprices, she is a noble-minded woman.
  2. A brief romance.
    Synonym: fling
  3. An unpredictable or sudden condition, change, or series of changes.
    • 1931, H. P. Lovecraft, chapter 6, in The Whisperer in Darkness:
      After that we cast off all allegiance to immediate, tangible, and time-touched things, and entered a fantastic world of hushed unreality in which the narrow, ribbon-like road rose and fell and curved with an almost sentient and purposeful caprice amidst the tenantless green peaks and half-deserted valleys
  4. A disposition to be impulsive.
    • 1726, [Edward Young], The Universal Passion. Satire the Last. To the Right Honourable Sir Robert Walpole., 1st edition, London: [] J[ames] Roberts [], →OCLC, page 2:
      Yet, Britain, vvhence this Caprice of thy Sons, / VVhich thro' their various ranks vvith fury runs? / The cauſe is plain, a cauſe vvhich vve muſt bleſs; / For Caprice is the Daughter of Succeſs, []
    • 1821, William Hazlitt, “Essay XII. On Will-making.”, in Table-Talk; or, Original Essays, volume I, London: John Warren, [], →OCLC, page 267:
      This last act of our lives seldom belies the former tenor of them, for stupidity, caprice, and unmeaning spite. All that we seem to think of is to manage matters so [] as to do as little good, and to plague and disappoint as many people as possible.
    • 1906, G. Stanley Hall, Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene, page 9:
      Skill, endurance, and perseverance may almost be called muscular virtues; and fatigue, velleity, caprice, ennui, restlessness, lack of control and poise, muscular faults.
    • 2019 May 19, Alex McLevy, “The final Game Of Thrones brings a pensive but simple meditation about stories (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[2]:
      In selecting Bran Stark, the lords of Westeros are choosing to value these stories and memories above whatever other qualities might make a good ruler, and more specifically, put an end to the caprices of heritage that have allowed bloodlines to wreak havoc on good stewardship of these kingdoms.
  5. (music) A capriccio.

Related terms[edit]




Borrowed from Italian capriccio.



caprice m (plural caprices)

  1. whim; wish
    Synonym: lubie
    • 1829, Victor Hugo, Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné:
      Pas malade ! en effet, je suis jeune, sain et fort. Le sang coule librement dans mes veines ; tous mes membres obéissent à tous mes caprices
      Not ill! Indeed, I am young, healthy and strong. Blood flows freely in my veins; all my parts obey my every wish.
  2. tantrum

Derived terms[edit]


  • Danish: kaprice
  • English: caprice
  • German: Caprice
  • Romanian: capriciu
  • Russian: каприз (kapriz)
  • Turkish: kapris

Further reading[edit]