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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for caprices
  • We are at best advisory, and our advice is subject to the whims and caprices of our administrators.
  • Different kingdoms had their own laws and often not even that, but run by the caprices of the ruler's mood at any given moment.
  • Nothing is easier, since his appeal is neither to the interests nor caprices of the market.
  • Through this pantomime of his policy, fortune played the clown to his caprices.
  • Even the whims and caprices of a tyrant may be of service in breaking the chain of custom which lies so heavy on the savage.
  • But this was the slightest and lightest of her caprices.
British Dictionary definitions for caprices

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 caprices

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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