9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh-prish-uh s, -pree-shuh s] /kəˈprɪʃ əs, -ˈpri ʃəs/
subject to, led by, or indicative of a sudden, odd notion or unpredictable change; erratic:
He's such a capricious boss I never know how he'll react.
Obsolete. fanciful or witty.
Origin of capricious
1585-95; < Italian capriccioso capriccioso
Related forms
capriciously, adverb
capriciousness, noun
noncapricious, adjective
noncapriciously, adverb
noncapriciousness, noun
uncapricious, adjective
uncapriciously, adverb
uncapriciousness, noun
1. variable, flighty, mercurial. See fickle.
1. steady, constant, consistent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for capricious
  • But in this changed behavior of the people there is nothing capricious or inconsistent.
  • There are just too many variables, and airlines are just too capricious to allow themselves to be outguessed.
  • Alaska weather is capricious, ranging from rainy and cold to sunny and hot ― sometimes all in the same day.
  • Welcome to the new, always changing, confusing and often capricious world of airline baggage policies.
  • If you want to talk about who is being more greedy, capricious, and needlesly confrontational- it would be the producers.
  • This war has proven as capricious in dealing out death as any other.
  • As your editorial notes, teachers must be safe from capricious or vague allegations based on politics or personality.
  • The climate system was a capricious beast, he said, and we were poking it with a sharp stick.
  • The film dissects the importance of luck and its capricious nature.
  • Many suitable candidates are also weeded out, the critics say, tripped up by simple-minded or capricious questions.
British Dictionary definitions for capricious


characterized by or liable to sudden unpredictable changes in attitude or behaviour; impulsive; fickle
Derived Forms
capriciously, adverb
capriciousness, noun
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 capricious

1590s, from French capricieux "whimsical" (16c.), from Italian capriccioso, from capriccio (see caprice). Related: Capriciously; capriciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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