See also: Caprice


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Borrowed from French caprice, from Italian capriccio, from caporiccio (fright, sudden start): capo (head), from Latin caput + riccio (curly), from Latin ēricius (hedgehog), or from Italian capro (goat). Doublet of capriccio.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kəˈpɹis/
  • (file)


caprice (plural caprices)

  1. An impulsive, seemingly unmotivated action, change of mind, or notion.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “The Honourable Mr. Glascock”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, publishers, [], OCLC 1118026626, page 107:
      It would have been a great privilege to be the mistress of an old time-honoured mansion, to call oaks and elms her own, to know that acres of gardens were submitted to her caprices, to look at herds of cows and oxen, and be aware that they lowed on her own pastures.
  2. An unpredictable or sudden condition, change, or series of changes.
    • 1931, H. P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness, chapter 6:
      After that we cast off all allegiance to immediate, tangible, and time-touched things, and entered a fantastic world of hushed unreality in which the narrow, ribbon-like road rose and fell and curved with an almost sentient and purposeful caprice amidst the tenantless green peaks and half-deserted valleys
  3. A disposition to be impulsive.
    • 2019 May 19, Alex McLevy, “The final Game Of Thrones brings a pensive but simple meditation about stories (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      In selecting Bran Stark, the lords of Westeros are choosing to value these stories and memories above whatever other qualities might make a good ruler, and more specifically, put an end to the caprices of heritage that have allowed bloodlines to wreak havoc on good stewardship of these kingdoms.
  4. (music) A capriccio.

Related termsEdit




From Italian capriccio.



caprice m (plural caprices)

  1. whim; wish
    • 1829, Victor Hugo, Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné
      Pas malade ! en effet, je suis jeune, sain et fort. Le sang coule librement dans mes veines ; tous mes membres obéissent à tous mes caprices
      Not ill! Indeed, I am young, healthy and strong. Blood flows freely in my veins; all my parts obey my every wish.
  2. tantrum

Derived termsEdit


  • Danish: kaprice
  • English: caprice

Further readingEdit