Meaning of CAPTAIN in English


I. ˈkap-tən also ˈkap- ə m noun

Etymology: Middle English capitane, from Anglo-French capitain, from Late Latin capitaneus, adjective & noun, chief, from Latin capit-, caput head — more at head

Date: 14th century



(1) : a military leader : the commander of a unit or a body of troops

(2) : a subordinate officer commanding under a sovereign or general

(3) : a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps ranking above a first lieutenant and below a major


(1) : a naval officer who is master or commander of a ship

(2) : a commissioned officer in the navy ranking above a commander and below a commodore and in the coast guard ranking above a commander and below a rear admiral

c. : a senior pilot who commands the crew of an airplane

d. : an officer in a police department or fire department in charge of a unit (as a precinct or company) and usually ranking above a lieutenant and below a chief

2. : one who leads or supervises: as

a. : a leader of a sports team or side

b. : headwaiter

c. : a person in charge of hotel bellhops — called also bell captain

3. : a person of importance or influence in a field

captain s of industry

• cap·tain·cy ˈkap-tən-sē noun

• cap·tain·ship -ˌship noun

II. transitive verb

Date: 1598

: to be captain of : lead

captain ed the football team

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.