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Definitions

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

  • n. A playful leap or hop.
  • n. A frivolous escapade or prank.
  • n. Slang An illegal plot or enterprise, especially one involving theft.
  • intransitive v. To leap or frisk about; frolic.
  • n. A usually spiny Mediterranean shrub (Capparis spinosa) having white to pale lilac flowers and dehiscent fruits with reddish pulp.
  • n. A pickled flower bud of this plant, used as a pungent condiment in sauces, relishes, and various other dishes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A frolicsome leap or spring; a skip; a jump, as in mirth or dancing; a prank.
  • n. A crime, especially theft, or a narrative about such a crime.
  • v. To leap or jump about in a sprightly manner; to cut capers; to skip; to spring; to prance; to dance.
  • n. A vessel formerly used by the Dutch; privateer.
  • n. The pungent grayish green flower bud of the European and Oriental caper (Capparis spinosa), which is pickled and eaten.
  • n. A plant of the genus Capparis
  • n. the capercaillie.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To leap or jump about in a sprightly manner; to cut capers; to skip; to spring; to prance; to dance.
  • n. A frolicsome leap or spring; a skip; a jump, as in mirth or dancing; a prank.
  • n. A vessel formerly used by the Dutch, privateer.
  • n. The pungent grayish green flower bud of the European and Oriental caper (Capparis spinosa), much used for pickles.
  • n. A plant of the genus Capparis; -- called also caper bush, caper tree.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To leap; skip or jump; prance; spring: as, to caper about (as a lamb or a child); “making a roan horse caper,” Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine.
  • n. A leap; a skip or spring, as in dancing or mirth, or in the frolic of a kid or lamb, or a child; hence, a sportive or capricious action; a prank.
  • n. A plant, Capparis spinosa, the buds of which (called capers) are much used as a condiment.
  • n. Nautical, a light-armed vessel of the seventeenth century, used by the Dutch for privateering.

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

  • n. gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
  • n. any of numerous plants of the genus Capparis
  • n. pickled flower buds used as a pungent relish in various dishes and sauces
  • n. a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
  • n. a playful leap or hop
  • n. a crime (especially a robbery)
  • v. jump about playfully

Etymologies

Alteration of capriole.
Middle English caperis, capar, from Latin capparis, from Greek kapparis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortening of capriole. (Wiktionary)
From Dutch kaper. (Wiktionary)
From Latin capparis. (Wiktionary)
Shortening of capercaillie. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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