General English


  • noun the player chosen as the leader of a cricket team
  • verb to act as the captain of a cricket team
    Citation ‘Lloyd played a dominating innings and captained astutely, much more willing to experiment and adapt than his less experienced opposite number’ (Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Cricketer August 1984)


  • noun a senior officer in the navy (above a commander, and usually in command of a warship)
  • noun an officer in the army or marines above the rank of lieutenant and below a major
  • noun an officer in the army, marines or air force (usually in command of a company or equivalent-sized grouping).
  • abbreviationCapt


  • noun the leader of a team in a sport or game


  • noun somebody in charge of a ship or aircraft
  • noun a chief waiter who is in charge of a station, and takes the orders from customers

Origin & History of “captain”

Etymologically, a captain is someone who is at the ‘head’ of an organization, team, etc. It derives ultimately from late Latin capitāneus ‘chief’, a derivative of caput ‘head’, which came to English via Old French capitain. A parallel but earlier formation was chieftain, which also came from late Latin capitāneus, but along a different route, by way of Old French chevetaine.