from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To surrender under specified conditions; come to terms.
  • intransitive v. To give up all resistance; acquiesce. See Synonyms at yield.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To draw up in chapters; to enumerate.
  • v. To draw up the articles of treaty with; to treat, bargain, parley.
  • v. To agree terms of surrender; to end all resistance, to give up; to go along with or comply.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To settle or draw up the heads or terms of an agreement, as in chapters or articles; to agree.
  • intransitive v. To surrender on terms agreed upon (usually, drawn up under several heads).
  • transitive v. To surrender or transfer, as an army or a fortress, on certain conditions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To draw up a writing in chapters, heads, or articles; hence, to draw up articles of agreement; arrange terms of agreement; treat; also, to enter into an agreement; confederate.
  • To surrender to an enemy on stipulated conditions.
  • Having a capitulum or knob. Specifically
  • In botany, head-like: applied to the apothecium of a lichen when it is irregularly rounded or globular and seated on the apex of a stem-like portion of the thallus, as in Cladonia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. surrender under agreed conditions


Medieval Latin capitulāre, capitulāt-, to draw up in chapters, from capitulum, chapter; see chapter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the participle stem of Medieval Latin capitulare ("draw up under headings"), from Latin capitulum ("heading, chapter, title"), diminutive of caput ("head"). (Wiktionary)


  • Proponents think that if the alliance expands to include Georgia and Ukraine, the West will have "gotten the better of Russia," while to exclude those nations would be to "capitulate" to Moscow.

    Forging a New Partnership

  • We've all seen it, papers that could not have been written by an eighth grader, using words such as capitulate and manipulate, when the child cannot even spell cap and man correctly in person!

    Concerns about virtual high schools

  • So, this may be more about their inability to secure a locale than a desire to "capitulate" to the Cheney clan.

    RSSMicro Search - Top News on RSS Feeds

  • However, the insurer's executives say Goldman refused to accept prices from other dealers and eventually AIG had to "capitulate".


  • In a statement on the Kindle Community website, Amazon says it must "capitulate" to Macmillan's demand to charge

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • Amazon had posted a note on its site on Sunday saying that it would ultimately "capitulate" to Macmillan's demand for higher prices on e-books.

    Crain's New York Business - Breaking News Feeds

  • Macmillan's CEO stood his ground, and explained his thinking in an open letter, and Amazon was forced to "capitulate" and return Macmillan books to the store.

    Fast Company

  • Firstly it paints itself as the victim, having to "capitulate" to demands that it clearly wishes the public to think of as unreasonable.

    Fast Company

  • In a statement on the Kindle Community website, Amazon says it must "capitulate" to Macmillan's demand to charge $12-$15 for an e-book version of a new hardcover, or bestseller.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • Sunday evening, Amazon announced that it would have to "capitulate" to Macmillan, "because Macmillan has a monopoly over its own titles." Home


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Blockbuster capitulated on that issue and ultimately abandoned the merger.

    September 24, 2010

  • I always assumed it meant something like 'to bow one's head' or 'to submit to someone else's head-ship', but it comes from 'to draw up terms or chapters' and 'chapters' comes from 'head' (like the heads of sections).

    March 26, 2007