a close-fitting covering for the head, usually of soft supple material and having no visor or brim.
a brimless head covering with a visor, as a baseball cap.
a headdress denoting rank, occupation, religious order, or the like:
a nurse’s cap.
mortarboard (def 2).
Mathematics. the symbol ∩, used to indicate the intersection of two sets.
Compare intersection (def 3a).
anything resembling or suggestive of a covering for the head in shape, use, or position:
a cap on a bottle.
summit; top; acme.
a maximum limit, as one set by law or agreement on prices, wages, spending, etc., during a certain period of time; ceiling:
a 9 percent cap on pay increases for this year.
Mycology. the pileus of a mushroom.
Botany, calyptra (def 1).
Mining. a short, horizontal beam at the top of a prop for supporting part of a roof.
a percussion cap.
British Sports. a selection for a representative team, usually for a national squad.
a noise-making device for toy pistols, made of a small quantity of explosive wrapped in paper or other thin material.
Nautical. a fitting of metal placed over the head of a spar, as a mast or bowsprit, and having a collar for securing an additional spar.
a new tread applied to a worn pneumatic tire.
Architecture. a capital.
Carpentry. a metal plate placed over the iron of a plane to break the shavings as they rise.
Fox Hunting. capping fee.
Chiefly British Slang. a contraceptive diaphragm.
to provide or cover with or as if with a cap.
to complete.
follow up with something as good or better; surpass; outdo:
to cap one joke with another.
to serve as a cap, covering, or top to; overlie.
to put a maximum limit on (prices, wages, spending, etc.).
British Sports. to select (a player) for a representative team.
Fox Hunting. to hunt with a hunting club of which one is not a member, on payment of a capping fee.
cap in hand, humbly; in supplication:
He went to his father cap in hand and begged his forgiveness.
set one’s cap for, to pursue as being a potential mate.
a capital letter.
Usually, caps. uppercase:
Please set the underlined in caps.
to write or print in capital letters, or make an initial letter a capital; capitalize.
Contemporary Examples

Robert Gibbs Leaving White House: Watch Video of His Best Moments Shannon Donnelly January 4, 2011
Half-Baked Treaty Deal Could Lead to Collapse of Euro Zone Felix Salmon December 8, 2011
Niall Ferguson: Great Britain Saves Itself by Rejecting the EU Niall Ferguson December 9, 2011
The Court Case That Pivots on What ‘Corrupt’ Really Means Lawrence Lessig September 25, 2013
BP’s Chief Fights for Survival Tom Bower July 4, 2010

Historical Examples

The Portal of Dreams Charles Neville Buck
New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
Reminiscences of the Great Mutiny 1857-59 William Forbes-Mitchell
Shoe-Bar Stratton Joseph Bushnell Ames
The Enemies of Women Vicente Blasco Ibez

a covering for the head, esp a small close-fitting one made of cloth or knitted
such a covering serving to identify the wearer’s rank, occupation, etc: a nurse’s cap
something that protects or covers, esp a small lid or cover: lens cap
an uppermost surface or part: the cap of a wave

See percussion cap
a small amount of explosive enclosed in paper and used in a toy gun

(sport, mainly Brit)

an emblematic hat or beret given to someone chosen for a representative team: he has won three England caps
a player chosen for such a team

the upper part of a pedestal in a classical order
the roof of a windmill, sometimes in the form of a dome
(botany) the pileus of a mushroom or toadstool

money contributed to the funds of a hunt by a follower who is neither a subscriber nor a farmer, in return for a day’s hunting
a collection taken at a meet of hounds, esp for a charity


the natural enamel covering a tooth
an artificial protective covering for a tooth

See Dutch cap (sense 2)
an upper financial limit
a mortarboard when worn with a gown at an academic ceremony (esp in the phrase cap and gown)

the cloud covering the peak of a mountain
the transient top of detached clouds above an increasing cumulus

cap in hand, humbly, as when asking a favour
(Brit) if the cap fits, the allusion or criticism seems to be appropriate to a particular person
set one’s cap for, set one’s cap at, (of a woman) to be determined to win as a husband or lover
verb (transitive) caps, capping, capped
to cover, as with a cap: snow capped the mountain tops
(informal) to outdo; excel: your story caps them all, to cap an anecdote
to cap it all, to provide the finishing touch: we had sun, surf, cheap wine, and to cap it all a free car
(sport, Brit) to select (a player) for a representative team: he was capped 30 times by Scotland
to seal off (an oil or gas well)
to impose an upper limit on the level of increase of (a tax, such as the council tax): rate-capping
(hunting) to ask (hunt followers) for a cap
(mainly Scot & NZ) to award a degree to
Common Agricultural Policy: (in the EU) the system for supporting farm incomes by maintaining agricultural prices at agreed levels

Mister; sir •Used in direct address to a man one wishes to flatter (1840s+)

To buy narcotics; cop: I capped me some more pot (1950s+ Narcotics)
To open or use a capsule of narcotics; bust a cap (1950s+ Narcotics)

To best or outdo, esp with a funnier joke, stranger story, etc; top: She told a lie that capped mine (1940s+)
To shoot; kill by shooting •Compare bust a cap: I should just cap you right now/ I think I’m going to cap myself today (1960s+)
CAP ON someone (1980s+ Teenagers)

Capricornus (constellation)
Civil Air Patrol
carcinoma of prostate
community-acquired pneumonia
computer-aided publishing

cap and gown
cap in hand
cap it all


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