Try Our Apps


From Fleek to Yaaas: New Words Added!


[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.
Cite This Source
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.

  • I cannot give any reason but caprice for quitting this ship.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • 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
  • The devotion of Mr Sparkler was only to be equalled by the caprice and cruelty of his enslaver.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • This does not always depend on the caprice of the public, or what may be called literary fashions.

  • It is better to be torn to pieces at a spring, than to be a mouse at the caprice of such a cat.'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • 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
  • Why should we cultivate talents merely to gratify the caprice of tyrants?

  • At each return the varying stream and shore must be studied, and every caprice of either divined.

    Literature and Life William Dean Howells
  • It's just as likely, perhaps, to be some caprice,—some passing fancy.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for caprice

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for caprice