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Webster 1913 Edition


Captain

Cap′tain

(kăp′tĭn)
,
Noun.
[OE.
capitain
,
captain
, OF.
capitain
, F.
capitaine
(cf. Sp.
capitan
, It.
capitano
), LL.
capitaneus
,
capitanus
, fr. L.
caput
the head. See under
Chief
, and cf.
Chieftain
.]
1.
A head, or chief officer
; as:
(a)
The military officer who commands a company, troop, or battery, or who has the rank entitling him to do so though he may be employed on other service.
(b)
An officer in the United States navy, next above a commander and below a commodore, and ranking with a colonel in the army.
(c)
By courtesy, an officer actually commanding a vessel, although not having the rank of captain.
(d)
The master or commanding officer of a merchant vessel.
(e)
One in charge of a portion of a ship’s company;
as, a
captain
of a top,
captain
of a gun, etc.
(f)
The foreman of a body of workmen.
(g)
A person having authority over others acting in concert;
as, the
captain
of a boat's crew; the
captain
of a football team
.
A trainband
captain
eke was he.
Cowper.
The Rhodian
captain
, relying on . . . the lightness of his vessel, passed, in open day, through all the guards.
Arbuthnot.
2.
A military leader; a warrior.
Foremost
captain
of his time.
Tennyson.
Captain general
.
(a)
The commander in chief of an army or armies, or of the militia.
(b)
The Spanish governor of Cuba and its dependent islands.
Captain lieutenant
,
a lieutenant with the rank and duties of captain but with a lieutenant's pay, – as in the first company of an English regiment.

Cap′tain

,
Verb.
T.
To act as captain of; to lead.
[R.]
Men who
captained
or accompanied the exodus from existing forms.
Lowell.

Cap′tain

,
Adj.
Chief; superior.
[R.]
captain
jewes in the carcanet.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


Captain

CAPTAIN

,
Noun.
1.
Literally, a head or chief officer; appropriately, the military officer who commands a company, whether of infantry, cavalry, artillery or matrosses.
2.
The commander of a ship of war, or of a merchantman. But the latter is often called a master.
3.
The commander of a military band, a sense that occurs in the sciptures; as a captain of fifty.
4.
A man skilled in war or military affairs; as, Lord Wellington is a great captain.
5.
A chief commander. Shak. But in this sense rarely used, but in composition.
Captain-general, is the commander in chief of an army, or of the militia. The covernor of a state is Captain-General of the militia.
Captain-Lieutenant, is an officer, who with the rank of captain and pay of lieutenant, commands a company or troop. Thus the colonel of a regiment being the captain of the first company, that company is commanded by a Captain-Lieutenant.
Captain-Bashaw, or Capudan Bashaw, in Turkey, is the High Admiral.

CAPTAIN

,
Adj.
Chief; valiant.

Definition 2022


Captain

Captain

See also: captain

English

See also: captain

Noun

Captain (uncountable)

  1. An army officer title in most countries
  2. The title for someone who holds the captain job on a ship or other vessel.
    These islands were discovered by Captain Cook.

captain

captain

See also: Captain

English

Noun

captain (plural captains)

  1. A chief or leader.
    • 1526, The Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Matthew 2:
      For out of the shal come a captaine, whych shall govern my people israhel.
    • 1929, Rudyard Kipling, "The English Way":
      Stand up-stand up, Northumberland! / I bid you answer true, / If England's King has under his hand / A Captain as good as you?
  2. The person lawfully in command of a ship or other vessel.
    The captain is the last man to leave a sinking ship.
  3. An army officer with a rank between the most senior grade of lieutenant and major.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      "A fine man, that Dunwody, yonder," commented the young captain, as they parted, and as he turned to his prisoner. "We'll see him on in Washington some day. He is strengthening his forces now against Mr. Benton out there. []."
  4. A naval officer with a rank between commander and commodore.
  5. A commissioned officer in the United States Navy, Coast Guard, NOAA Corps, or PHS Corps of a grade superior to a commander and junior to a rear admiral (lower half). A captain is equal in grade or rank to an Army, Marine Corps, or Air Force colonel.
  6. One of the athletes on a sports team who designated to make decisions, and is allowed to speak for his team with a referee or official.
    • Remember the Titans
      Captain's supposed to be the leader, right?
    • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport:
      As Di Matteo celebrated and captain John Terry raised the trophy for the fourth time, the Italian increased his claims to become the permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas by landing a trophy.
  7. The leader of a group of workers.
    John Henry said to the captain, "A man ain't nothing but a man."
  8. A maître d'.
    • 1977, Don Felder, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey, lyricists, "Hotel California",
      So I called up the Captain, "Please bring me my wine." / He said: "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969."
  9. (Southern US) An honorific title given to a prominent person. See colonel.
  10. (Internet) Someone who provides contextual information for a post. Originally a shorthand for 'Captain Obvious'.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Descendants

Translations

Verb

captain (third-person singular simple present captains, present participle captaining, simple past and past participle captained)

  1. (intransitive) To act as captain
  2. (transitive) To exercise command of a ship, aircraft or sports team.

Translations

Related terms