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definition of the word caput

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From Indoeuropean *kauput-. Cognates include German Kopf and Haupt.

caput (genitive capitis); n, third declension

  1. head
  2. anatomical term; headlike protuberance on an organ or body part, usually bone, for instance caput ulnae
  3. a disease; a severe swelling of the soft tissues of a newborn's scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal.
  4. (figuratively) The vital part
  5. (of a river) origin, source, head
    • Horace, Carmina, 1:1
      nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae.
  6. (figuratively) life
  7. capital city
    • Ovid, Ab Urbe Condita, 1:16
      ut mea Roma caput orbis terrarum sit
    • Ovid, Ab Urbe Condita, 8:4
      Romam caput Latio esse
  8. (poetic) leader, chief
  9. accusative singular of caput
  10. vocative singular of caput

Third declension (3).

Number Singular Plural
nominative caput capita
genitive capitis capitum
dative capitī capitibus
accusative caput capita
ablative capite capitibus
vocative caput capita

Caput can be used with either a genitive or a dative in the sense of a capital city.

  • caput” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879), A Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press)
  • "head" in the Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 2001

Definition from Wiktionary
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