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Latin, the head.


caput ‎(plural caputs or capita)

  1. (anatomy) The head.
  2. (anatomy) A knob-like protuberance or capitulum.
  3. The top or superior part of a thing.
  4. (Britain) The council or ruling body of the University of Cambridge prior to the constitution of 1856.
    • Lamb
      Your caputs and heads of colleges.

Related terms[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.



From German kaputt, from Yiddish קאַפּוט ‎(kaput, lost, dead).


caput m ‎(uncountable)

  1. kaput

See also[edit]



From Proto-Italic *kaput, from Proto-Indo-European *kauput-, *káput ‎(head). Cognates include German Haupt and English head.



caput n ‎(genitive capitis); third declension

  1. head
  2. (New Latin, anatomy) headlike protuberance on an organ or body part, usually bone, for instance caput ulnae
  3. (New Latin, medicine) a disease; a severe swelling of the soft tissues of a newborn's scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal
  4. (figuratively) the vital part
  5. (of a river) origin, source, head
  6. (figuratively) life
  7. capital city
  8. (poetic) leader, chief
  9. (in writings) division, section, paragraph, chapter

Usage notes[edit]

Caput can be used with either a genitive or a dative in the sense of a capital city.


Third declension neuter.

Case Singular Plural
nominative caput capita
genitive capitis capitum
dative capitī capitibus
accusative caput capita
ablative capite capitibus
vocative caput capita

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (part or division of a writing): cap., c.


  • (in writings: division, section, paragraph, chapter): capitulum

Derived terms[edit]



  • caput” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.
  • head” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).