capit-, capt-, cap-, cep-, ceps-, chapt-, chef, cip-

(Latin: head; leader, chief, or first)

It may be surprising to see that a "captain" and a "chef" both belong to the same word family; however, a captain is, of course, the "head of a company of military soldiers", and a "chef is the captain of a group of cooks".

A chef, especially to those who love good food, is not a lowly official; and when it is remembered that the old saying that "an army travels on its stomach", a chef is every bit as important as a captain.

When the French borrowed words from Latin, they frequently used soft sounds. These French words, with their softer sounds, then made their way into the English language. At the same time, English borrowed words directly from Latin. So it is that in English we often have two words which share the same root, but which have different, though related, forms and meanings.

—Compiled from information located in
Words Come in Families by Edward Horowitz, Ph.D.;
Hart Publishing Company, Inc.; New York; 1977; pages 39-42.

Don't confuse the words in this capit-, capt- unit with those in the cap-, cip-, "catch, seize" unit.

a capite ad calcem (Latin motto)
Translation: "From head to heel; thoroughly."

Equivalent to "from top to bottom".

achieve (verb), achieves; achieved; achieving
1. To succeed in doing or gaining something, usually with effort.
2. To accomplish something successfully; perform at a standard or above a standard level.
3. Etymology: from Late Latin ad caput (venire, "to come"); both the Old French and Late Latin phrases meaning literally, "to come to a head", from Latin caput, "head".

Word History

To achieve something is to bring plans and actions to a head. This is the literal meaning of the ancestor of our word achieve, which was borrowed from the French in Norman times. They made the verb achever out of the preposition a-, "to", and chief, "head": "to bring to a head".

Old French chief comes, in turn, through a thousand years of gradual changes, which only the strongest (accented) syllables survived, from Latin caput, "head". The original sense, "bring to a head", easily acquired the present significance, "bring to a successful conclusion, make a success" of the task at hand.

Picturesque Word Origins; G. & C. Merriam Company;
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A; 1933; page 8.
achievement (s) (noun), achievements (pl)
1. Something accomplished; especially, by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.
2. The act of achieving; attainment or accomplishment.
3. In heraldry, the full display of the armorial bearings (bearing a coat or coats of arms) of an individual or corporation.
achiever (s) (noun), achievers (pl)
1. Someone with a record of successes.
2. A successful and motivated person.
acid rain (s) (noun), acidic rain, acidic precipitation; acid rains, acidic rains, acidic precipitations (pl)
1. Rain, or other precipitation that has an excessive concentration of sulfuric or nitric acids.
2. A popular term for the atmospheric deposition of acidified rain, snow, sleet, hail, acidifying gases and particles, as well as, acidified fog and cloud water.
3. Rain, snow, sleet or fog water having a pH less than 5.65.
4. The deposition of acidifying substances from the atmosphere during a precipitation event.
alopecia capitis totalis (Latin term)
Translation: "Complete absence of hair from the scalp or the loss of all scalp hair; with normal hair elsewhere on the body remaining."
biceps (s) (noun); biceps, bicepses (pl)
A muscle with two points of origin; especially, the large muscle at the front of the upper arm that flexes the elbow joint and the large muscle at the back of the thigh that flexes the knee joint.

A person's biceps is a muscle having two heads or two points of attachment.

bicipital (adjective) (not comparative)
Of or relating to the biceps of the muscles; having two heads or areas of origin.
cadet (s) (noun), cadets (pl)
1. A student at a military school who is training to be an officer.
2. A student in a national service academy or private military school or on a training ship.
3. A student in training for service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Coast Guard.
4. A trainee in a business or profession.
5. Formerly a gentleman, usually a younger son, who entered the army to prepare for a subsequent commission.
6. Etymology: from 1610, originally "young son", French from Gascon capdet, "captain, chief"; from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of Latin caput, capit-, "head".
cape (s) (noun), capes (pl)
1. A sleeveless garment of various lengths, fastened around the neck and falling loosely from the shoulders, worn separately or attached to a coat or other outer garment.
2. The capa of a bullfighter.
3. A piece of land jutting into the sea or some other large body of water.
4. Etymology: cape (1) "garment", Old English capa, from Late Latin cappa ,"cape, hooded cloak". Also, cape (2) "promontory" A.D. 1386, from Middle French cap, which came from Latin caput "headland, head".
capital (adjective)
1. First and foremost; principal: "He made a decision of capital importance."
2. First-rate; excellent: "She had a capital idea."
3. Relating to or being a seat of government: "The capital of the state is functioning as a seat of government."
4. Extremely serious consequences: "He committed a capital blunder when he suggested more spending."
5. Involving death or calling for the death penalty: "He was convicted of a capital offense which involved punishment by death."
6. Of or relating to financial assets or involving financial capital; especially, those financial assets that add to the net worth of a business: "The company made some capital improvements this year."
7. Relating to or being a capital letter in the form A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c or the form of letters used at the beginning of sentences and names: "He wrote his message in capital letters instead of mixing uppercase letters (capitals) with lowercase letters (non-capitals) which is done normally."
capital (s) (noun), capitals (pl)
1. The city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.: "Tokyo is the capital of Japan and Berlin is the capital of Germany."
2. A city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity: Hollywood was once the movie capital of the world; however, it is now being challenged by Bollywood of India; the extravagantly theatrical Indian motion picture industry (a blend of Bombay plus Hollywood).
3. A capital letter (upper case) versus an uncapitalized letter (lower case): "A capital letter is always used at the beginning of a sentence."
4. The wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
5. An accumulated stock of such corporate wealth: "The fifty cents in Mike's pocket is all the capital that he has."
6. Any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
7. In accounting, assets remaining after deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business or the ownership interest in a business.
8. Any source of profit, advantage, power, etc.; an asset.
9. Capitalists as a group or class; as distinguished from a labor class.
capitalism (s) (noun), capitalisms (pl)
1. An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.
2. An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit.
capitalist (s) (noun), capitalists (pl)
1. A person who invests capital in a business (especially a large business).
2. A conservative advocate of capitalism.
3. A person who has capital; especially, extensive capital, invested in business enterprises.
4. An advocate of capitalism.
5. A very wealthy person.
capitalize (verb), capitalizes; capitalized; capitalizing
1. To write or print in capital letters or with an initial capital.
2. To authorize a certain amount of stocks and bonds in the corporate charter of.
3. To issue stock as a dividend, thereby capitalizing retained earnings, or as settlement of an unpaid arrearage of preferred dividends.
4. In accounting, to set up (expenditures); such as, business assets in the books of account instead of treating as an expense.
5. To supply with capital.
6. To estimate the value of (a stock or an enterprise).
7. To use debt or budgeted expenditures as capital for development.