General English

General Science


  • noun an upper limit placed on something, such as an interest rate. The opposite, i.e. a lower limit, is a ‘floor’).


  • verb to place an upper limit on something

Cars & Driving

  • noun a protective cover, usually round and such as can be screwed or twisted on, e.g. radiator cap, petrol cap
  • noun the base of a light bulb which fits into the socket


  • The top piece, often overhanging, of any vertical architectural feature or wall. A cap may be external, as on an outside wall or doorway; or it may be internal, as on the top of a column, pilaster, molding, or trim.
  • A layered system of cover—whether natural soils, rock, synthetics, pavement, and/or polymeric liners—that controls hydrogeologic processes.
  • Decorative molded cornice or projection covering the lintel of a window.


  • noun a notional award, in respect of a place in a particular team, made to a player each time he is selected to play for that team
    Citation ‘Bob Taylor, in his 23rd season, maintained his remarkable consistency and won his 50th England cap during the series against New Zealand’ (Wisden 1984)
    Citation ‘Australian selectors must take the plunge and hand Sydneysider Phil Jaques his first Test cap if Justin Langer is unfit for the Boxing Day Test at MCG’ (Robert Craddock, Herald Sun (Australia), 19 December 2005)
  • noun an award made in English first-class cricket to a player who is considered to have completed his ‘apprenticeship’ and become an established member of his county’s playing staff; the change in status has financial and contractual implications, too
  • verb to award a cap to a player
    Citation ‘Since the war a benefit has been normally awarded after some 10 seasons as a capped player’ (Trevor Bailey, Cricketer March 1984)
    Citation ‘Australia had made three other changes, capping the NSW slow left-armer Murray Bennett and recalling … Greg Matthews and … Andrew Hilditch’ (WCM February 1985)


  • (written as Cap)
    The largest interest rate that can be charged under a loan, also known as the ceiling. Many foreign exchange investment strategies, such as carry trades, depend upon borrowing an amount of one currency to purchase another currency expected to appreciate, making the cap of any loans an important factor in determining trade profitability.


  • noun an artificial hard covering for a damaged or broken tooth


  • noun a capsule of an illicit drug. The word appeared in the 1960s and was sometimes applied to a dose of LSD, even when this did not come, strictly speaking, in capsule form.
  • verb to insult, humiliate, put (someone) down. A teenage vogue term of the late 1980s. It presumably originates in the idea of capping someone’s best stories or achievements, i.e. going one better.
  • verb to kill someone. An item of underworld and street-gang parlance. Tag and clip are contemporary synonyms.


  • noun a player who has been selected for a special team such as a national cricket, football or rugby team
  • verb to select a player for a special team such as a national side, for which a cap is awarded


  • the mass of skin, pips and fragments of stalks that rises to the top of the liquid during the fermentation process of red wine


  • abbreviation forcapitalization
  • acronym forcontrolled atmosphere packaging
    (written as CAP)


  • acronym forcapital assistance program
    (written as CAP)


  • acronym forcombat air patrol
    (written as CAP)
  • noun a patrol by fighter aircraft over a designated area.


  • acronym forCivil Aviation Publication
    (written as CAP)
  • noun a book, etc., published by the Civil Aviation Authority, each publication having its own reference number

Media Studies

  • acronym forCommittee of Advertising Practice
    (written as CAP)
  • noun the body which produces the codes of advertising practice which are independently administered by OFCOM (broadcast advertising) and ASA (non-broadcast advertising).


  • acronym forcarrierless amplitude phase
    (written as CAP)
  • A modulation technique similar to quadrature amplitude modulation. It is used in DSL, but discrete multitone is currently preferred. Its abbreviation is CAP.

Origin & History of “cap”

Old English cæppa came from late Latin cappa ‘hood’, source also of English cape ‘cloak’. The late Latin word may well have come from Latin caput ‘head’, its underlying meaning thus being ‘head covering’.