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cap•tain



Pronunciation: (kap'tun, -tin), [key]
n.
1. a person who is at the head of or in authority over others; chief; leader.
2. an officer ranking in most armies above a first lieutenant and below a major.
3. an officer in the U.S. Navy ranking above a commander and below a rear admiral or a commodore.
4. a military leader.
5. an officer in the police department, ranking above a lieutenant and usually below an inspector.
6. an officer of the fire department, usually in command of a company, ranking above a lieutenant and below a chief or assistant chief.
7. the commander of a merchant vessel. Cf. staff captain.
8. the pilot of an airplane.
9. a local official in a political party responsible for organizing votes on a ward or precinct level.
10. Sports.the field leader of a team: The captain of the home team elected to receive on the kickoff.
11. a person of great power and influence, esp. based on economic wealth.
12. headwaiter.
13. See bell captain.
14. South Midland and Southern U.S.an unofficial title of respect for a man (sometimes used humorously or ironically).

v.t.
to lead or command as a captain.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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