Meaning of CAP in English


I. cap 1 S3 /kæp/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 900-1000 ; Language: Late Latin ; Origin: cappa 'covering for the head, cloak' , perhaps from Latin caput 'head' ]

1 . HAT

a) a type of flat hat that has a curved part sticking out at the front, and is often worn as part of a uniform:

a baseball cap

old men in flat caps

a chauffeur’s peaked cap

b) a covering that fits very closely to your head:

a swimming cap

a shower cap

c) a type of simple hat that fits very closely to your head, worn especially by women in the past:

a white lace cap

2 .

COVERING a protective covering that you put on the end or top of an object SYN top :

Make sure you put the cap back on the pen.

a bottle cap

3 . LIMIT an upper limit that is put on the amount of money that someone can earn, spend, or borrow:

a cap on local council spending

4 . SPORT British English

a) if a sportsperson wins a cap or is given a cap, he or she is chosen to play for their country:

He won his first England cap against Wales in 1994.

b) a sportsperson who has played for his or her country:

Mason is one of two new caps in the team.

5 . SMALL EXPLOSIVE a small paper container with explosive inside it, used especially in toy guns

6 . SEX a ↑ contraceptive made of a round piece of rubber that a woman puts inside her ↑ vagina SYN diaphragm

7 . go cap in hand (to somebody) British English , go hat in hand American English to ask for money or help in a very respectful way, from someone who has a lot more power than you:

Elderly people should receive a heating allowance every winter, instead of having to go cap in hand to the government.

⇨ ↑ flat cap , ↑ ice cap , ↑ kneecap , ↑ mob cap , ↑ skull cap , ↑ toecap , ⇨ a feather in your cap at ↑ feather 1 (2), ⇨ if the cap fits (, wear it) at ↑ fit 1 (8), ⇨ put your thinking cap on at ↑ thinking 1 (3)

• • •


■ types of cap

▪ a baseball cap (=that people wear for baseball and for fashion)

He was wearing a sweater and a baseball cap.

▪ a flat cap ( also a cloth cap ) British English (=made of cloth with a stiff piece that sticks out at the front)

We saw an old man in a jacket and a brown flat cap.

▪ a peaked cap (=worn as part of a uniform)

She wore a sailor's peaked cap.

▪ a swimming/bathing cap

A swimming cap will stop you getting your hair wet.

▪ a shower cap (=worn to keep your hair dry when having a shower)

There was a little bag containing soap, shampoo and a shower cap.

■ verbs

▪ wear a cap

He was wearing a baseball cap.

▪ put on/take off/remove your cap

He opened the door, took off his cap, and threw it on a hook.

• • •


▪ cover something that is put on or over something else to protect it, for example a piece of metal, plastic, or glass:

a manhole cover


the cover that goes over the barbecue

▪ covering a layer of something, or a sheet of something, that covers something else:

There was light covering of snow on the ground.


The hard shell acts as a protective covering.


the cloth coverings on the altar

▪ lid a cover for a container such as a pan or a box:

the lid of the box


a saucepan lid

▪ top/cap the thing that you put on top of a bottle, tube, or pen, in order to prevent the liquid or other things inside from coming out:

I can’t find the cap for the pen.


Put the top back on the milk!


the cap that goes on the toothpaste

▪ cork the top part that you put on top of a bottle of wine:

Can you take off the cork for me?

▪ wrapping ( also wrap especially American English ) a sheet of paper, plastic etc that is put around something in order to cover or protect it:

John tore the wrapping off his presents.


The lamp was still in its wrapping.

▪ wrapper a piece of paper or plastic that is put around something you buy, especially a small object:

Put the candy wrappers in your pocket.


He took the drinking straw out of its wrapper.

II. cap 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle capped , present participle capping ) [transitive]

1 . COVER be capped with something to have a particular substance on top:

a graceful tower capped with a golden dome

magnificent cliffs capped by lovely wild flowers

2 . LIMIT [often passive] to limit the amount of something, especially money, that can be used, allowed, or spent:

the only county to have its spending capped by the government

3 . GOOD/BAD to say, do, or be something that is better, worse, or more extreme than something that has just happened or been said:

Well, we went three nights with no sleep at all. I bet you can’t cap that!

4 . be capped by something to have something very good or very bad at the end of an event:

a fabulous weekend, capped by dinner in the Times Square Hotel

5 . SPORT [usually passive] British English to choose someone for a national sports team:

He’s been capped three times for England.

6 . to cap it all (off) British English spoken used before a statement to say that something is the last in a series of annoying, unpleasant, or funny events:

To cap it all, the phones didn’t work, and there was no hot water.

7 . snow-capped, white-capped etc with snow on top, with white on top etc:

snow-capped mountains

8 . TOOTH to cover a tooth with a special hard white substance:

He’s had his teeth capped.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.