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

1660–70; white + cap1

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World English Dictionary
whitecap (ˈwaɪtˌkæp)
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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Example sentences
Such offset can be caused by cloud contamination, radiometric calibration error, surface whitecap correction error and soon.
Wind on the open lakes can quickly create dangerous whitecap conditions.
Wind on the ope n lakes can quickly create dangerous whitecap conditions.
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