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[key-pee-uh s, kap-ee-] /ˈkeɪ pi əs, ˈkæp i-/
noun, Law.
a writ commanding an officer to take a specified person into custody.
Origin of capias
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin: literally, you are to take, subjunctive 2nd person singular of capere Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for capias
  • Should an offender or defendant become non-compliant, a show cause or capias for an arrest may be issued.
  • The court must hold a contempt hearing when the defendant is in court on a capias or order to show cause.
British Dictionary definitions for capias


/ˈkeɪpɪˌæs; ˈkæp-/
(law) (formerly) a writ directing a sheriff or other officer to arrest a named person
Word Origin
C15: from Latin, literally: you must take, from capere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for capias

writ of arrest issued by a court, mid-15c., from Latin capias, literally "thou mayest take," typical first word of such a writ; properly 2nd person singular present subjunctive of capere "to catch, seize, hold" (see capable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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