from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In anatomy, the head; the head or upper extremity of some part of the body.
  • noun An abbreviation of the phrase caput senatus (literally, head of the senate), a council or ruling body in the University of Cambridge, England.
  • noun In Roman law, the standing before the law, or the personal status, of a citizen.
  • noun A fanciful term used by the old chemists to denote the residuum of chemicals when all their volatile matters had escaped; specifically, oxid of iron, which is the residue left when sulphate of iron is distilled at a red heat. Hence— Anything from which all that rendered it valuable has been taken away.

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

  • noun (Anat.) The head; also, a knoblike protuberance or capitulum.
  • noun The top or superior part of a thing.
  • noun (Eng.) The council or ruling body of the University of Cambridge prior to the constitution of 1856.
  • noun (Old Chem.) The residuum after distillation or sublimation; hence, worthless residue.

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

  • noun the upper part of the human body or the front part of the body in animals; contains the face and brains
  • noun a headlike protuberance on an organ or structure


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Feudal term for the administrative center of a lordship.

    August 24, 2008

  • "The duplication of effort in the nuclear family is directly connected to the family's role as the principal unit of consumption in consumer society. Each household is destined to acquire a complete set of all the consumer durables considered necessary for the good life and per caput consumption is therefore maintained at its highest level."

    - 'Women and power in Cuba', Germaine Greer in The Madwoman's Underclothes.

    September 1, 2008

  • While we wait for the OCSJTS list to be restored to life, may I propose this as a fitting tag for dodgy capitalisation?

    November 17, 2009

  • You know, when I started using this for FULLY CAPITALISED words as well as mESsEd uP ones, I hadn't realised just how many of those turn up on Wordnik...

    November 18, 2009

  • Having tags and comments on different pages is a disincentive to tagging, at least for me.

    November 18, 2009

  • Agreed; we've lost some of that lovely interaction between the two. (For example, I had to ponder whether to put a comedy tag on diecast and let someone come across it however much later, or whether to try to work it into something worth a comment.) Maybe John could be prevailed upon to add tags back into the comment pages, in proper Wordie style.

    November 19, 2009

  • We need a way to manually merge words together. I don't think automation is going to be a reliable solution.

    November 19, 2009

  • There's Related, although caput's page is making me wonder what context is meant to be implied.

    November 19, 2009

  • Yeah, and if you go down to the bottom of Statistics there's the Caput/caput pie chart.

    Would anybody care for some caput pie while I'm down there? *proffers*

    November 19, 2009