Cap"tain (?), n. [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.]


A head, or chief officer

; as: (a)

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.


An officer in the United States navy, next above a commander and below a commodore, and ranking with a colonel in the ermy.


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


The master or commanding officer of a merchant vessel.


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


The foreman of a body of workmen.


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

A trainband captain eke was he. Cowper.

The Rhodian captain, relying on . . . the lightness of his vessel, passed, in open day, through all the guards. Arbuthnot.


A military leader; a warrior.

Foremost captain of his time. Tennyson.

Captain general. (a) The commander in chief of an army or armies, or of the militia. (b) The Spanish governor of Cuba and its dependent islands. -- Captain lieutenant, a lieutenant with the rank and duties of captain but with a lieutenant's pay, -- as in the first company of an English regiment.


© Webster 1913.

Cap"tain (?), v. t.

To act as captain of; to lead.


Men who captained or accompanied the exodus from existing forms.



© Webster 1913.

Cap"tain, a.

Chief; superior.


captain jewes in the carcanet. Shak.


© Webster 1913.