A captain is the person in charge of a group. The captain of a high school soccer team is usually an elected or appointed leader.

The word captain can describe any leader, but it's traditionally been the name for the person on a boat or ship with the highest rank. The captain of a fishing boat is responsible for making decisions about what route to take and how best to avoid bad weather. When she steers the boat, you can say she captains it. The word comes from the Late Latin capitaneus, "chief," from caput, or "head."

Definitions of captain

n the leader of a group of people

“a captain of industry”
Type of:
a person who rules or guides or inspires others

n the naval officer in command of a military ship

flag captain
the captain of a flagship
Type of:
commissioned naval officer
a commissioned officer in the navy

n an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship

master, sea captain, skipper
Captain Kidd
Scottish sea captain who was hired to protect British shipping in the Indian Ocean and then was accused of piracy and hanged (1645-1701)
Type of:
officer, ship's officer
a person authorized to serve in a position of authority on a vessel

n the pilot in charge of an airship

senior pilot
group captain
a commissioned officer (especially one in the Royal Air Force) equivalent in rank to a colonel in the army
Type of:
airplane pilot, pilot
someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight

n a policeman in charge of a precinct

police captain, police chief
Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria
Soviet chief of secret police under Joseph Stalin; was executed by his associates in the power struggle following Stalin's death (1899-1953)
Chief Constable
the head of the police force in a county (or similar area)
Type of:
officer, police officer, policeman
a member of a police force

n a dining-room attendant who is in charge of the waiters and the seating of customers

headwaiter, maitre d', maitre d'hotel
Type of:
dining-room attendant, restaurant attendant
someone employed to provide service in a dining room

n an officer holding a rank below a major but above a lieutenant

Type of:
commissioned military officer
a commissioned officer in the Army or Air Force or Marine Corps

v be the captain of a sports team

Type of:
head, lead
be in charge of

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