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[kuh-prees] /kəˈpris/
a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one's mind or the weather.
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.
Music. capriccio (def 1).
Origin of caprice
1660-70; < French < Italian; see capriccio
1. vagary, notion, whim, fancy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for caprice
  • One of the film's best assets is its lack of predictability and sense of caprice and possibility.
  • His depiction of the glory and caprice of the gods both balances his main characters' foibles and highlights their basic nobility.
  • They recognized there were things that even hard work couldn't control — the fickle sun, the saving rain, the earth's caprice.
  • Accordingly the spectators favoured one or the other colour, as humour and caprice inclined them.
  • I'd like that car in any color thats says, getting ahead of your fellow man - but boldly and with a sense of flamboyant caprice.
  • At the time, the decision was seen as the last caprice of a sinking company.
  • There's a certain allure to caprice, when tempered with charm or diplomacy.
  • Their only laws are made and unmade at the caprice of the legislature, and are as variable as the legislature itself.
  • Without conscious intention he began to clutch at every passing caprice, taking it for a desire and an object.
British Dictionary definitions for caprice


noun (pl) -priccios, -pricci (-ˈpriːtʃɪ), -prices
(music) a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to the rules for any specific musical form
Word Origin
C17: from Italian: caprice


a sudden or unpredictable change of attitude, behaviour, etc; whim
a tendency to such changes
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

"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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