Definitions

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

  • adjective Characterized by, arising from, or subject to caprice; impulsive or unpredictable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Characterized by caprice; apt to change opinions suddenly, or to deviate from one's purpose; unsteady; changeable; fickle; subject to change or irregularity: as, a man of a capricious temper.
  • Synonyms Freakish, unsteady, fanciful, whimsical, fitful, crotchety, uncertain.

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

  • adjective Governed or characterized by caprice; apt to change suddenly; freakish; whimsical; changeable.

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

  • adjective Impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance, impulse, or whim

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

  • adjective determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
  • adjective changeable

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French capricieux, from Italian capriccioso.

Examples

  • I have just left Augereau, who was vomiting fire and fury against what he calls your capricious proclamations.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Collection of Memoirs of Napoleon

  • I have just left Augereau, who was vomiting fire and fury against what he calls your capricious proclamations.

    Recollections of the private life of Napoleon

  • I have just left Augereau, who was vomiting fire and fury against what he calls your capricious proclamations.

    Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete

  • Woman is less changeable, but to call her capricious is a stupid insult.

    A Prince of Bohemia

  • One of Trine's would-be selling points is its physics-based puzzles, but history has taught us by now that "physics-based" is often a euphemism for "capricious" - and that's the case here.

    Paste Magazine

  • In “Thoroughbreds and Blackguards,” Burnaugh argues that the sport’s great competitive impediment, and the temptation that renders it uniquely capricious, is the influence of gambling.

    The Sport of Kings

  • In “Thoroughbreds and Blackguards,” Burnaugh argues that the sport’s great competitive impediment, and the temptation that renders it uniquely capricious, is the influence of gambling.

    The Sport of Kings

  • In “Thoroughbreds and Blackguards,” Burnaugh argues that the sport’s great competitive impediment, and the temptation that renders it uniquely capricious, is the influence of gambling.

    The Sport of Kings

  • Still, most of what we ask that dogs learn can only be described as capricious and arbitrary.

    INSIDE OF A DOG

  • Still, most of what we ask that dogs learn can only be described as capricious and arbitrary.

    INSIDE OF A DOG

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  • You're as capricious today as a young woman who needs to get married and has no suitor.

    Maxim Gorky, "Recollections of Leo Tolstoy"

    November 19, 2011

  • Every town-gate and village taxing-house had its band of citizen-patriots, with their national muskets in a most explosive state of readiness, who stopped all comers and goers, cross-questioned them, inspected their papers, looked for their names in lists of their own, turned them back, or sent them on, or stopped them and laid them in hold, as their capricious judgment or fancy deemed best for the dawning Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death.

    Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    February 24, 2013