from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A compact cluster of sessile flowers, often surrounded by involucral bracts, as of daisies and other composite plants.
  • noun A small knob or head-shaped part, such as a protuberance of a bone or the tip of an insect's antenna.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In actinians, the upper part of the column as distinguished from the scapus.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In entomology: The enlarged terminal portion of the halter or poiser of a dipterous insect
  • noun The enlarged terminal portion of the sucking mouth of a fly, formed by two suctorial flaps called labella.
  • noun The knob at the end of a capitate antenna.
  • noun One of the stalked spheroidal sporangia of certain mycetozoans.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun (Anat.) A knoblike protuberance of any part, esp. at the end of a bone or cartilage. [See Illust. of Artiodactyla.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin, diminutive of caput, capit-, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin capitulum



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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,

    February 26, 2009