Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Botany See flower head.
  • n. Biology A small knob or head-shaped part, such as a protuberance of a bone or the tip of an insect's antenna.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A densely clustered inflorescence composed of a large number of individual florets arising from a platform-like base.
  • n. The head-like mouthpart apparatus of a tick, including the palpi, mandibles, and hypostome.
  • n. A small protuberance on a bone which articulates into another bone to form a ball-and-socket joint.
  • n. The enlarged end of a proboscis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thick head of flowers on a very short axis, as a clover top, or a dandelion; a composite flower. A capitulum may be either globular or flat.
  • n. A knoblike protuberance of any part, esp. at the end of a bone or cartilage. [See Illust. of Artiodactyla.]

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy, the head of a bone; especially, the head of a rib, as distinguished from its shoulder or tuberculum. Also called capitellum. See cut under endoskeleton.
  • n. In Cirripedia, specifically, the valves of the shell collectively, inclosing more or less of the body of the animal, as distinguished from the peduncular part of the creature.
  • n. In botany, a close head of sessile flowers, as in the Compositæ; also, as used by some early botanists, the receptacle of various fungi; in mosses, a close, dense cluster of leaves. Also called capitule.
  • n. In entomology: The enlarged terminal portion of the halter or poiser of a dipterous insect
  • n. The enlarged terminal portion of the sucking mouth of a fly, formed by two suctorial flaps called labella.
  • n. The knob at the end of a capitate antenna.
  • n. One of the stalked spheroidal sporangia of certain mycetozoans.
  • n. In actinians, the upper part of the column as distinguished from the scapus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn
  • n. a dense cluster of flowers or foliage
  • n. an arrangement of leafy branches forming the top or head of a tree

Etymologies

Latin, diminutive of caput, capit-, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin capitulum (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • In typography, a glyph that resembles a capital C crossed by one or two vertical lines.

    "Like most punctuation, the paragraph mark (or pilcrow) has an exotic history. It's tempting to recognize the symbol as a 'P for paragraph,' though the resemblance is incidental: in its original form, the mark was an open C crossed by a vertical line or two, a scribal abbreviation for capitulum, the Latin word for 'chapter.' Because written forms evolve through haste, the strokes through the C gradually came to descend further and further, its overall shape ultimately coming to resemble the modern "reverse P" by the beginning of the Renaissance. Early liturgical works, in imitation of written manuscripts, favored the traditional C-shaped capitulum; many modern bibles still do." —Jonathan Hoefler, <http://www.typography.com/ask/showBlog.php?blogID=84>

    February 26, 2009