What does captain mean?

Definitions for captain
ˈkæp tən, -tɪncap·tain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word captain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. captainnoun

    an officer holding a rank below a major but above a lieutenant

  2. captain, skippernoun

    the naval officer in command of a military ship

  3. captain, police captain, police chiefnoun

    a policeman in charge of a precinct

  4. master, captain, sea captain, skippernoun

    an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship

  5. captain, chieftainnoun

    the leader of a group of people

    "a captain of industry"

  6. captain, senior pilotnoun

    the pilot in charge of an airship

  7. captain, headwaiter, maitre d'hotel, maitre d'verb

    a dining-room attendant who is in charge of the waiters and the seating of customers

  8. captainverb

    be the captain of a sports team


  1. captainnoun

    A chief or leader.

  2. captainnoun

    The person lawfully in command of a ship or other vessel.

    The captain is the last man to leave a sinking ship.

  3. captainnoun

    An army officer with a rank between the most senior grade of lieutenant and major.

  4. captainnoun

    A naval officer with a rank between commander and commodore.

  5. captainnoun

    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. captainnoun

    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.

  7. captainnoun

    The leader of a group of workers.

    John Henry said to the captain, "A man ain't nothing but a man."

  8. captainnoun

    A maître d'.

  9. captainnoun

    An honorific title given to a prominent person. See colonel.

  10. captainverb

    To act as captain

  11. captainverb

    To exercise command of a ship, aircraft or sports team.

  12. Etymology: From capitaine, from capitaneus, from caput (English cap).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Captainnoun

    a head, or chief officer

  2. Captainnoun

    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

  3. Captainnoun

    an officer in the United States navy, next above a commander and below a commodore, and ranking with a colonel in the army

  4. Captainnoun

    by courtesy, an officer actually commanding a vessel, although not having the rank of captain

  5. Captainnoun

    the master or commanding officer of a merchant vessel

  6. Captainnoun

    one in charge of a portion of a ship's company; as, a captain of a top, captain of a gun, etc

  7. Captainnoun

    the foreman of a body of workmen

  8. Captainnoun

    a person having authority over others acting in concert; as, the captain of a boat's crew; the captain of a football team

  9. Captainnoun

    a military leader; a warrior

  10. Captainverb

    to act as captain of; to lead

  11. Captainadjective

    chief; superior

  12. Etymology: [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.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Captain

    kap′tān, or kap′tin, n. a head or chief officer: the commander of a troop of horse, a company of infantry, or a ship: the overseer of a mine: the leader of a team or club: the head-boy of a school.—v.t. to lead.—ns. Cap′taincy, the rank or commission of a captain; Cap′tain-gen′eral, chief commander of an army; Cap′tainship, Cap′tainry (obs.), rank or condition of a captain: skill in commanding. [O. Fr. capitaine—Low L. capitaneus, chief—L. caput, head.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. captain

    This title is said to be derived from the eastern military magistrate katapan, meaning "over everything;" but the term capitano was in use among the Italians nearly 200 years before Basilius II. appointed his katapan of Apulia and Calabria, A.D. 984. Hence, the corruption of the Apulian province into capitanata. Among the Anglo-Saxons the captain was schipp-hláford, or ship's lord. The captain, strictly speaking, is the officer commanding a line-of-battle ship, or a frigate carrying twenty or more cannon. A captain in the royal navy is answerable for any bad conduct in the military government, navigation, and equipment of his ship; also for any neglect of duty in his inferior officers, whose several charges he is appointed to regulate. It is also a title, though incorrectly, given to the masters of all vessels whatever, they having no commissions. It is also applied in the navy itself to the chief sailor of particular gangs of men; in rank, captain of the forecastle, admiral's coxswain, captain's coxswain, captain of the hold, captain of main-top, captain of fore-top, &c.

  2. captain

    A name given to the crooner, crowner, or gray gurnard (Trigla gurnardus).

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. captain

    In a limited and technical sense, is the title of an officer who commands a troop of cavalry, a company of infantry, or a battery of artillery. He is the next in rank below a major, and in the U. S. army is responsible for the camp and garrison equipage, the arms, ammunition, and clothing of his company.

Suggested Resources

  1. captain

    Song lyrics by captain -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by captain on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'captain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1900

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'captain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3781

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'captain' in Nouns Frequency: #827

How to pronounce captain?

How to say captain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of captain in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of captain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of captain in a Sentence

  1. Miguel Angel Jimenez:

    I think I've done a lot for the tour through all these years and it's a little disappointing not being captain but I feel happy on the other hand for Northern Ireland Darren Clarke because Northern Ireland Darren Clarke will do a very good job, i will be behind you Northern Ireland Darren Clarke, don't worry. All the decisions you're going to make for Ryder Cups will be good.

  2. Elaine Chan:

    We did not expect our highly anticipated vacation to end as a nightmare in complete humiliation, we were kicked off the cruise by the Holland America captain in Helsinki. He forced us to leave the cruise by 10 am to catch our flight. If we did not leave on time, he said we would miss our flight.

  3. Max Stern:

    We can not help but think it not coincidental that the decision by Yale University officials to seek expulsion of the captain of Yale University basketball team followed by little more than a month the report of the Association of American Universities( AAU) which was highly critical of the incidence of sexual assault on the Yale University campus, and the Yale University President's promise, in response, to' redouble our efforts,' from what appears, Jack Montague has been pilloried as a' whipping boy' for a campus problem that has galvanized national attention.

  4. Marty Collins:

    We just took off for L.A. regular and then ... about five minutes into the flight the captain came on and said we were going back and we'd land within five to seven minutes, and we did, when we landed was when all the trucks and the police and the fire trucks surrounded the plane.

  5. Jennifer Appels:

    I was able to get on a surfboard and get on their boat, make an actual phone call, because no one spoke English, it was easier and safer for me to relay the information to the U.S. Coast Guard-Guam sector that we were in danger without them realizing what we were saying. If I had thrown the EPIRB at that point, he [the captain] would have known.

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Translations for captain

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