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[kap-i-tuh] /ˈkæp ɪ tə/
plural of caput.


[key-puh t, kap-uh t] /ˈkeɪ pət, ˈkæp ət/
noun, plural capita
[kap-i-tuh] /ˈkæp ɪ tə/ (Show IPA).
any head or headlike expansion on a structure, as on a bone.
Origin of caput
1640-50; < Latin: head

per capita

[per kap-i-tuh] /pər ˈkæp ɪ tə/
by or for each individual person:
income per capita.
Law. noting or pertaining to a method of dividing an estate by which all those equally related to the decedent take equal shares individually without regard to the number of lines of descent.
Compare per stirpes.
1675-85; < Latin: literally, by heads
Can be confused
per annum, per capita, per diem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for capita
  • It now leads the nation in the number of green buildings per capita.
  • Then they compared the data to the country's gross domestic product per capita.
  • Then, as long as human population grows, per capita output will decline.
  • And a reduction in per capita output implies a reduction in standard of living.
  • Growing population and per capita consumption indefinitely is impossible.
  • Now do have a some debt but it is per capita one of the smallest amounts in world with every citizen getting full health coverage.
  • Overpopulation limits per capita income and consumer spending power over much of the globe.
  • Reducing per capita consumption causes economic shrinkage and unemployment.
  • Even poor households spend many multiples of that per capita for food.
  • Growth in per capita gdp is one way of saying reducing poverty.
British Dictionary definitions for capita


(anatomy) the plural of caput


/ˈkeɪpət; ˈkæp-/
noun (pl) capita (ˈkæpɪtə)
(anatomy) a technical name for the head
the main or most prominent part of an organ or structure
Word Origin
C18: from Latin

per capita

/pə ˈkæpɪtə/
adjective, adverb
of or for each person
Word Origin
Latin, literally: according to heads
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for capita

per capita

Latin, literally "by the head," from per (see per) + capita "head" (see capital).



"head," in various senses, from Latin caput (see capitulum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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capita in Medicine

caput cap·ut (kāp'ut, -ət)
n. pl. cap·i·ta (kāp'ĭ-tə)
The head.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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capita in Culture
per capita [(puhr kap-i-tuh)]

A Latin phrase literally meaning “by heads,” and translated as “for each person.” It is a common unit for expressing data in statistics. A country's per capita personal income, for example, is the average personal income per person.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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