Word of the Day

Saturday, September 27, 2008


\kuh-PICH-uh-layt\ , intransitive verb;
To surrender under agreed conditions.
Just before peace talks on Kosovo are due to resume, the United States and its allies are sending contradictory signals to Belgrade, making it less likely that President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia will capitulate on American terms.
-- Steven Erlanger, "West's Bosnia Move May Hurt Kosovo Bid", New York Times, March 7, 1999
I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
We say "capitulate" because the terms (of surrender) were drawn up in capitula, which is Latin for "chapters." Chapter itself is related to capitulate.
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