I. 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. (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 b. (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 <
captains of industry
captaincy nouncaptainship noun II. transitive verb Date: 1598 to be captain of ; lead <
captained the football team

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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