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.

precipitancy (s) (noun), precipitancies (pl)
Suddenness; an excessive haste.
precipitant (s) (noun), precipitants (pl)
1. A substance which causes a separation of chemicals in a solution: The students in the laboratory tried several precipitants in an effort to complete their assignment.
2. A reason or cause of a certain event or action: Jane thought that stress was the precipitant of the development of cancer in her breast.
precipitantly (adverb), more precipitantly, most precipitantly
With great haste; with rash unadvised haste; with tumultuous speed.
precipitate (verb), precipitates; precipitated; precipitating
1. To send someone or something suddenly and rapidly into a particular state or condition.
2. To cause a liquid or solid forms of water, condensed in the atmosphere, to fall to the ground as rain, snow, or hail, or fall in such a form.
3. To throw someone or something from a great height, or to fall from a great height.
4. To cause a substance in solution to settle down in solid particles; the solid that settles out of a solution.
5. A deposit made or substance thrown down.
6. Occurring with undue rapidity: The steep rise in prices for gas precipitated street rioting.
7. In immunology, the product of interaction between soluble macromolecular antigen and the homologous antibody; that is, the antigen-antibody complex formed as a consequence of the reaction of pneumococcus capsular polysaccharide in solution with specific antiserum.
8. Etymology: from Latin praeceps, praecipitis, "headlong, steep"; from prae-, "before, forth" + caput, "head".
precipitation (s) (noun), precipitations (pl)
1. The act of making something happen suddenly and quickly.
2. A casting down or falling headlong.
3. A hastening or hurrying in movement, procedure, or action.
4. Sudden haste.
5. Unwise or rash rapidity.
6. In meteorology, falling products of condensation in the atmosphere; such as, rain, snow, or hail: "When the weather forecast predicts a high precipitation level, people should expect a lot of rain or snow."
7. The amount of rain, snow, hail, etc., that has fallen at a given place within a given period, usually expressed in inches or centimeters of water.
8. In chemistry and physics: the precipitating of a substance from a solution.
9. Etymology: "sudden haste", from Middle French precipitation (15th century); directly from Latin praecipitationem, praecipitatio, "act" or "fact of falling headlong, haste, steep place"; from praecipitare, "to throw headlong, to fall, to be hasty"; from praeceps "headlong, steep"; which was a compound formed from the prefix prae-, "in front" + capit, caput, "head".
precipitous (adjective), more precipitous, most precipitous
1. A reference to an action done or acted on too quickly and without enough thought: Monroe finished his company assignment in a precipitous way which was accomplished in great haste and without proper deliberation.
2. Etymology: "abrupt, hasty"; later, "rushing headlong; probably formed partly in English from Latin praecipitium, "precipice" meaning "steep, headlong, headfirst"+ English -ous, "characterized by".
Relating to going down violently.
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precipitously (adverb), more precipitously, most precipitously
1. Abruptly; in a precipitous manner; with a steep descent: The mountains rose precipitously from the shore of the ocean.
2. Very suddenly and to a great degree: If a reduction or increase is precipitous, it is fast.
precipitousness (s) (noun), (no plural)
The characteristics of a slope that is very steep: Examples of precipitousness include: quick, sharp; short, hurried, hasty, blunt; discontinuous, broken, and uneven.
quadriceps (adjective)
A reference to having four heads; such as, certain muscles: "Quadriceps comes from the Latin elements of quadri-, "four" + -ceps, "heads".
quadriceps (s) (noun), quadriceps
A muscle of the thigh that extends the leg: "The quadriceps may refer to any four-headed muscle; however, it usually indicates that the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, the large muscle that comes down the femur (the bone of the upper leg), goes over the patella (the kneecap) and anchors into the top of the tibia (the big bone in the lower leg). The function of the quadriceps is to extend or to straighten out each leg."

"In Latin, this muscle's full formal name is musculus quadriceps femoris."

recap (s) (noun), recaps (pl)
A brief rephrasing or summary of an earlier report or speech, etc.
recap (verb), recaps; recapped; recapping
1. To reseal something with a cap.
2. To summarize or to repeat something in a more concise form: "Rena recapped the headlines near the end of the news program."
recapitulate (verb), recapitulates; recapitulated; recapitulating
1. To summarize the main ideas: When the professor had finished his lecture, a student recapitulated the talk in a few words.
2. To repeat briefly: The speaker was told that his point was understood and that it was not necessary to recapitulate anything.
3. Etymology: from Latin recapitulare, "to sum up"; from re-, "again" + capitulare, "to draw up under headings"; from capitulum, "little head", "chapter"; from caput, "head".
To summarize or to briefly repeat statements.
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recapitulated (adjective)
A reference to a summary that is a repetition or brief re-statement of a longer discussion or document: "Joseph wrote a recapitulated statement that was in a newspaper column."
recapitulater (s) (noun), recapitulaters (pl)