Definition of Capuchin in English:


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  • 1A friar belonging to a branch of the Franciscan order that observes a strict rule drawn up in 1529.

    ‘One of the major events to take place in the month of June was the Canonisation of Padre Pio - a Capuchin monk with a huge Irish following.’
    • ‘He was ordained a priest in the Capuchin order in 1946 and was given the religious name of Lucian.’
    • ‘On Christmas Eve 1896, he entered St. Bonaventure Monastery, headquarters for the St. Joseph Province of the Capuchins in the United States.’
    • ‘He was a Capuchin, which meant a life of asceticism and poverty.’
    • ‘The drink was called cappuccino after the Capuchin order to which d' Aviano belonged.’
    • ‘The most striking gain was made by the various Franciscan Orders, among which the Capuchins grew from about 22,000 brothers in 1650 to nearly 33,000 in 1754.’
    • ‘Materials are deliberately unostentatious, in keeping with the austere spirit of the Capuchin order, which conceives the church as a welcoming open house, rather than an aloof, overpowering monument.’
    • ‘He had long ago sought out and met Father Pio de Pietraicina, the Italian Capuchin monk who suffered the stigmata of Christ's crucifixion.’
    • ‘You will also learn that it's the mission of the Capuchin monks to preserve the remains of the dead.’
    • ‘He was a member of the Capuchin Order in the Friary Kilkenny.’
    • ‘The monthly meeting of the Secular Franciscan Order will take place in the Capuchin Friary, Dublin St. on Thursday, January 29 at 7.30 pm.’
    • ‘His career started late, and followed twelve years, 1598-1610, as a Capuchin monk at S. Barnaba, Genoa.’
    • ‘So I decided to do something constructive,’ said the Capuchin priest, who celebrates 40 years in the order this year.’
    • ‘The Italian clergy, especially the Capuchins, were another barrier to French influence in Tunisia.’
    • ‘Born in Tipperary, educated at Maynooth, he joined the Capuchins in Dublin.’
    • ‘Even the Capuchin priests began protesting about the disorderly soldiers.’
    • ‘Being a humble Capuchin priest, he suffered until his death, but helped and cured many people.’
    • ‘In the catacombs of the Capuchin crypt beneath Chiesa di Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome, the bones of 4000 monks are arranged in Baroque patterns on the ceilings.’
    • ‘The annual Franciscan Retreat will take place on Monday 24th May in the Capuchin Friary at 7.30 pm.’
    • ‘He then found job as a gardener in a Capuchin monastery, a job he held for the rest of his life.’
  • 2

    (also capuchin)
    A cloak and hood formerly worn by women.

    ‘Regency wraps have many strange and wonderful names but are basically capes (shawls, mantles, pelerines, capes, cloaks, capuchins).’
    • ‘Mantua-makers also made all sorts of loose garments, cloaks, cardinals, capuchins, etc.’
    • ‘Ladies formerly wore cloaks as their chief over-coats; they were used with some changes of form under the successive names of roquelaus, capuchins, and cardinals.’
  • 3

    (also capuchin, capuchin monkey)
    A South American monkey with a cap of hair on the head which has the appearance of a cowl.

    Genus Cebus, family Cebidae: four species, including the brown capuchin (C. apella)

    ‘I have spent many hours here photographing the cock-of-the-rock, the brown capuchin monkey (far right) and many insects, including long-legged flies.’
    • ‘The brown capuchin monkey, a seed predator, can recognize which fruits are about to open on a Cariniana micrantha tree, above.’
    • ‘Again, the capuchin monkey cannot be unequivocally assigned to either the typical anthropoid or nonprimate pattern.’
    • ‘And our next animal up for display is the white-faced capuchin monkey.’
    • ‘My field work has involved observations of the dietary behavior of various species of howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchins and tamarins as well as woolly spider monkeys.’
    • ‘A quick Internet search reveals a thriving trade in just about every species of primate, from capuchins to chimpanzees.’
    • ‘His favorite species for this work are chimpanzees, bonobos, and capuchin monkeys.’
    • ‘Numerous primates, including chimps, baboons, black lemurs and capuchins, dip into the jungle pharmacy to combat parasites.’
    • ‘In recent years, researchers have identified an array of unique behaviors found among distinct groups of primate species, including chimpanzees, orang-utans, and capuchin monkeys, and associated them with culture.’
    • ‘We used the owl monkey, the tufted capuchin, and the spider monkey (A. belzebuth) as representatives of subfamilies of Aotinae, Cebinae, and Atelinae, respectively.’
    • ‘Individuals were drawn from two large, well-established social groups of captive brown capuchins from colonies at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and paired with a partner.’
    • ‘In a recent experiment with pairs of captive capuchins, Brosnan handed a familiar token (a small rock) to one of the monkeys, then turned her own hand palm up.’
    • ‘Our small ships can drop you off on a pristine beach in Costa Rica, with no footprints in sight, where you'll seek out white-faced capuchins in the jungle.’
    • ‘Among the primate species are red howler and wedge-capped capuchin.’
    • ‘Scientists believe the monkeys rub the bugs on their fur to ward off mosquitoes, a behavior documented in capuchin monkeys but never in the nocturnal owl monkeys.’
    • ‘Female capuchin monkeys refused a treat offered for good work if other monkeys received better treats.’
    • ‘They trained capuchin monkeys, which are native to the forests of South America, to exchange a token for food.’
    • ‘What we've shown is that capuchin monkeys look remarkably like us; making rational decisions in many of the same settings that humans get right, but also make many of the same mistakes we make.’
    • ‘The researchers said capuchins are well-suited subjects for study since they are relatively large-brained primates, skilled problem solvers, and a close evolutionary neighbor to humans.’
    • ‘The main point of the Chen and Santos experiments is to show that capuchins can learn to engage in a wider variety of behaviors that look like human economic transactions.’
  • 4

    (also capuchin)
    A pigeon of a breed with head and neck feathers resembling a cowl.

    ‘Groups of male capuchin birds attract females with sounds like the whine of some outer-space cicada insect crossed with a sick cow: ‘mmmmmmmm-WOW!’’
    • ‘In our wide territory, different kinds of ducks can be found such as: golden-coloured ducks, red shoveler, pintails, capuchin pigeon, and whistling ducks.’
    • ‘There is also a capuchin pigeon with a feathery topknot.’
    • ‘For bird species we can cite the red and blue macaw, the brown-throated parakeet, the king vulture, the white bellbird, the hummingbird, and capuchin bird.’



/ˈkap(y)ə(t)SHən/ /ˈkæp(j)ə(t)ʃən/ /kəˈpo͞o(t)SHən/ /kəˈpu(t)ʃən/


Late 16th century from obsolete French, earlier form of capucin, from Italian cappuccino, from cappuccio ‘hood, cowl’, from cappa (see cape), the friars being so named because of their sharp-pointed hoods.