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caprice

[kuh-prees] /kəˈpris/
noun
1.
a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one's mind or the weather.
2.
a tendency to change one's mind without apparent or adequate motive; whimsicality; capriciousness:
With the caprice of a despotic king, he alternated between kindness and cruelty.
3.
Music. capriccio (def 1).
Origin of caprice
1660-1670
1660-70; < French < Italian; see capriccio
Synonyms
1. vagary, notion, whim, fancy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for caprice
Historical Examples
  • A delicate child still, puny and sickly, petted and spoiled, indulged in every childish whim and caprice.

  • Have you the courage to give honest folk so much pain for a caprice?

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • Owing to this caprice of the elements, I was unable to leave until three o'clock in the afternoon.

    Ocean to Ocean on Horseback Willard Glazier
  • Believe me, Leo, I was not morose out of caprice; I was troubled and anxious.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • This does not always depend on the caprice of the public, or what may be called literary fashions.

  • He had come to convince her that what she had considered a caprice was love, true love.

    The Dead Command Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • What caprice might not possess her while on shore, and the ship to sail within a few hours?

    The Missourian Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • If the thing is but a caprice, I will give it time to pass off.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • At each return the varying stream and shore must be studied, and every caprice of either divined.

    Literature and Life William Dean Howells
  • We must guard ourselves against whims and caprice, even our own.

    The Gate of Appreciation Carleton Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for caprice

caprice

/kəˈpriːs/
noun
1.
a sudden or unpredictable change of attitude, behaviour, etc; whim
2.
a tendency to such changes
3.
another word for capriccio
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian capriccio a shiver, caprice, from capo head + riccio hedgehog, suggesting a convulsive shudder in which the hair stood on end like a hedgehog's spines; meaning also influenced by Italian capra goat, by folk etymology
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 caprice
n.

"sudden change of mind," 1660s, from French caprice "whim" (16c.), from Italian capriccio "whim," originally "a shivering," possibly from capro "goat," with reference to frisking, from Latin capreolus "wild goat" (see cab). But another theory connects the Italian word with capo "head" + riccio "curl, frizzled," literally "hedgehog" (from Latin ericius). The notion in this case would be of the hair standing on end in horror, hence the person shivering in fear.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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