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From Middle Dutch capitein, from Old French capitaine, from Medieval Latin capitāneus.


  • IPA(key): /kaː.piˈtɛi̯n/
  • Audio:(file)
  • Hyphenation: ka‧pi‧tein
  • Rhymes: -ɛi̯n



kapitein m (plural kapiteins, diminutive kapiteintje n)

  1. captain (person in command of a ship)
  2. captain (military officer)
  3. (Suriname) Amerindian or Maroon tribal village chief
    • 2020 March 1, Gilliamo Orban, “Dorpelingen Wit Santi eisen aftreden kapitein [Wit Santi villagers demand resignation of village chief]”, in De Ware Tijd[1], retrieved 28 April 2021:
      Ontevreden bewoners van Wit Santi eisen het aftreden van Patrick Mande, kapitein van het dorp, omdat de zittingstermijn van het dorpsbestuur in 2018 is verstreken. Ook zou het dorpshoofd grond hebben verkocht; de opbrengst zou hij voor zichzelf hebben gehouden.
      Disgruntled residents of Wit Santi demand the resignation of Patrick Mande, the village chief, because the term of the village council expired in 2018. The village headman is also alleged to have sold off land, keeping the proceeds for himself.
  4. (historical) leader of an ethnic group appointed or recognised by Dutch colonial authorities

Derived terms





  1. ^ Salmon Claudine. Malay (and Javanese) Loan-words in Chinese as a Mirror of Cultural Exchanges. In: Archipel, volume 78, 2009. pp. 181-208