white cap

whitecap

[hwahyt-kap, wahyt-]
noun
a wave with a broken and foaming white crest.

Origin:
1660–70; white + cap1

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World English Dictionary
whitecap (ˈwaɪtˌkæp)
 
n
1.  a wave with a white broken crest
2.  (US) a member of a vigilante organization that attempts to control a community

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

whitecap
1660s, of birds, from white + cap. Attested from 1773 in ref. to breaking waves, from 1818 of mushrooms, and from 1891 in ref. to "one of a self-constituted band in U.S. who committed outrages under pretense of regulating public morals" [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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