Main definitions of caper in English

: caper1caper2

caper1

verb

  • no object, with adverbial of direction Skip or dance about in a lively or playful way.

    ‘children were capering about the room’
    • ‘Dirty boys capered like shadows at the edge of the performance, aping the musicians' gestures.’
    • ‘She would have joyously capered in the village streets that were nearby, yet she had never been there.’
    • ‘He capered and cavorted growing louder by the moment, so that it was a fair bit before the French player's quiet protestations could be heard.’
    • ‘They hold the foreigners in contempt, calling them aliens and capering about in a pathetic attempt to feel superior.’
    • ‘The kids stand frozen and slack-jawed, mesmerized by the adults capering around in rented tutus.’
    • ‘They took over a fish and chip shop, where they mugged and capered while the locals waited long-sufferingly for their grub.’
    • ‘Sandra was now half way to the trunk when my mother hurled the screen door open and came capering up to us, grinning wildly.’
    • ‘There was general merrymaking for a while as the Raiders capered about among the gold and jewels.’
    • ‘The gardener strolled off, his golden gown soon lost in the golden expanse of grass, accompanied by several small animals which capered at his feet, circled his head or hopped off and on his shoulders.’
    • ‘The dogs alternately padded alongside Daman or capered with the boy.’
    • ‘Whatever, it set the howler monkeys capering in their giddiest branches, and jabbering almost as much as Jack.’
    • ‘Children capered around in awe of all the soldiers with weapons, and guests and dignitaries kept a respectful silence during the formalities.’
    • ‘Before you quite know what's happening, the burly Warburton has whipped off his shirt and is capering - hairy, barrel chest and all - after his mother.’
    • ‘It doesn't stop him later that evening from capering madly around the stage, all jack-in-a-box bouncing and extravagant semaphore gestures.’
    • ‘Dark forms capered amidst the flames, pausing only to hack at the battered forms of those that had tried in vain to defend the fortress.’
    • ‘I see you have Lindo still capering along behind you everywhere you go.’
    • ‘‘In the magical forest lived three fairies,’ I began, walking deeper into the woods while Tamela capered in circles around me.’
    • ‘It's a cold, overcast morning, but there are about ten dogs capering across the beach off-leash.’
    • ‘It was dark by then and a few drunken students were capering about.’
    • ‘When the Mass was over Gnat was capering around the narthex, showing off her happy frilly purple coat.’
    skip, dance, romp, jig, frisk, gambol, cavort, prance, frolic, leap, hop, jump, bound, spring
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noun

  • 1A playful skipping movement.

    ‘she did a little caper or dance’
    • ‘Rupert leaps into the crowd, has a caper around the room and still manages not to miss a beat.’
    • ‘Frankie did a little caper around the back of the van, on all fours like a demented monkey.’
    • ‘Sienna grabs onto Taranian's shoulder in a bout of joy, and does a caper around her friend, laughing in a barely sane manner.’
    dance, skip, hop, leap, jump
    View synonyms
  • 2informal An illicit or ridiculous activity or escapade.

    ‘I'm too old for this kind of caper’
    • ‘Tim Gillin writes about the latest caper of Australia's ‘multicultural’ bureaucrats.’
    • ‘They spoil everything, from a night out at the pictures to a meticulously-planned caper, involving a rich Aunt and a rubber zombie mask.’
    • ‘Thankfully, some of them basically drift away by the end of the film so that we are left with a core group of determined thieves who embark on the caper at the film's climax.’
    • ‘The then-executive director of the New Hampshire Republican party and a consultant involved in the scheme are now doing time for their role in the caper.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, far too many films contain wacky crime capers that lead into shenanigans which gives way to witty, edgy banter.’
    • ‘The 90 minute opener is a caper involving a thoroughbred racehorse, a bunch of knock-off porn videos (also featuring animals), a Greek kebab shop owner and, naturally, wads of cash.’
    • ‘Anyway their latest caper is to offer to purchase LFA (Less Favoured Area) Sheep Quota from any producer willing to sell it.’
    • ‘Initially, I'm slightly skeptical about the whole caper.’
    • ‘He said the public need to distinguish between a one-off caper and persistent anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘It was freakish to say the least, and even lost me a few readers in the process - but at the same time, this stunt saw the site rapidly acquiring a whole host of new readers who found the whole caper hilarious.’
    • ‘If he escapes, it will be a trick worthy of the swimming-pool caper.’
    • ‘The New York Times report cleverly tries to insinuate that the caper involved currency speculation, but the truth is more interesting.’
    • ‘Police have been brought in to help solve the riddle of who put bloodworms in swimming pools, as authorities conclude the caper may have been an inside job.’
    • ‘Their latest caper is a promise to abolish all university tuition fees - while Labour is taking the economically responsible course of putting the fees up!’
    • ‘Women wrestled then befriended adultresses, men abducted brides, light-hearted capers segued into murder.’
    • ‘Their caper involves a nightlong journey of picking up cash all over town in a purloined bank van with Wayne and Henry posing as bank guards assigned to collect all this money.’
    • ‘Now he may face the full 10 years, plus punishment for the grave-robbing caper.’
    • ‘So even a film about the best-known caper of the past decade doesn't take the subject head-on.’
    • ‘The election board and the local Council, with their haphazard and non-accountability attitude, should have stopped this caper when it was first seen years ago.’
    • ‘A guy comes up with a caper, he puts together a team, they plan, and then they pull off the heist.’
    escapade, stunt, prank, trick, practical joke, antics, high jinks, mischief, game, sport, fun, jest, jesting, jape
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    1. 2.1 A light-hearted, far-fetched film, especially about crime.
      ‘a cop caper about intergalactic drug dealers’
      • ‘Guy Ritchie updated the film by recasting the 1960s blaggers as escapees from a GQ photo-shoot and remoulding the caper to involve a shotgun and an ex-Wimbledon stopper.’
      • ‘She began writing Cybill Disobedience 10 years ago after the cancellation of Moonlighting, the detective caper co-starring Bruce Willis.’
      • ‘Take five guys with no brains and a job that's too good to be true and you have the recipe for one of the funniest crime capers in recent years.’
      • ‘Despite similarities with Ritchie's two acclaimed crime capers, Layer Cake is a very different kind of movie.’
      • ‘Just don't expect a ‘post-modern’ crime caper in the Quentin Tarantino vein.’
      • ‘Sidney Lumet's Family Business wants to have its cake and eat it too - is it a crime caper, a genial comedy, or a relational drama?’
      • ‘This fast paced caper is full of twist and turns, sharp cuts and a racy soundtrack.’
      • ‘The artistry of the conman is given an enticing makeover by Sir Ridley Scott in Matchstick Men, an ingenious little crime caper which functions on many levels.’
      • ‘He will later this year be seen in a car-chase caper called V for Vendetta, a British ‘bonfire night’ action thriller by the makers of The Matrix.’
      • ‘No matter how hard you search major American media databases of the last couple of years for mention of the spy caper, you'll come up nearly empty.’
      • ‘The 1947 film noir detective story, now available on DVD, has a lot more potential for interpretation than your average caper, and a look that stands the test of time.’
      • ‘Rockwell, too, is no slouch in the cool stakes, having already teamed up with George Clooney for crime capers, Welcome to Collinwood and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.’
      • ‘There is a mastery at work that elevates it from yet another crime caper to something almost operatic in scope.’
      • ‘This is the task facing Steven Soderbergh and co, as they bring you the sequel to their crime caper, Ocean's 12.’
      • ‘Cammell wrote the scripts for two other 1968 films The Touchables and Duffy, a crime caper starring three Jameses - Coburn, Mason and Fox.’
      • ‘It's a safe, unassuming, rather amusing little crime caper.’
      • ‘A tissue paper thin comedy crime caper, it feels like a million movies I've seen before and not really enjoyed.’
      • ‘As he babysits the babes, he tries to mould them into prim and proper ladies in this fish-out-of-water caper as they in turn teach Roland the art of seduction.’
      • ‘The script is a simple caper of thwarting the protagonist's attempts to complete a simple task.’
      • ‘It's a terrific caper, beautifully acted by Nolte.’

Phrases

  • cut a caper

    • Make a playful skipping movement.

      ‘he cut a little caper as he walked along the corridor’
      • ‘Before we know it, the God-fearing Sabah has become a fiddlestick - sipping Chardonnay and cutting a caper across the parks of Toronto for trysts with her new lover.’
      • ‘Without another word, Tom flings himself on the old gentleman's neck; throws up his hat; cuts a caper; defies the waiting-maid; and refers her to the butcher.’
      • ‘And the hag, insisting that she felt a child quick within her, begged Bourgeois to feel how the wee jester cut a caper in her belly.’
      • ‘He, too, stopped to listen, and he even cut a caper or two in the hope of attracting attention.’
      • ‘Dressed in white for her next entrance, in ACT III, she smokes a cigarette and laughs at Ariel, who cuts a caper, mincing air with someone's sword.’
      • ‘When he clowned people laughed dutifully, when he cut a caper they applauded reverentially.’
      • ‘Darlene Enke and Jessica Hanel cut a caper in Threepenny Opera.’
      • ‘This is your chance to practice cutting a caper.’
      • ‘After a time, Fun came out of the hole, cut a caper in front of Sulkyface, and gave a peculiar shriek, which forced him to give a momentary smile in spite of himself.’
      • ‘The poor little fellow could neither sing nor dance, and had not sufficient breath left to cut a caper or turn a back somersault.’

Origin

Late 16th century: abbreviation of capriole.

Pronunciation

caper

/ˈkeɪpə/

Main definitions of caper in English

: caper1caper2

caper2

noun

  • 1usually capersThe cooked and pickled flower bud of a bramble-like southern European shrub, used to flavour food.

    ‘add capers and olives’
    • ‘Foods associated with Aries are the pungent, spicy plants of Mars - onion, leek, garlic, cayenne, capers and mustard - plus, of course, the sacrificial Sunday roast lamb.’
    • ‘Add garlic, capers and cayenne pepper and sauté for two minutes.’
    • ‘I stand for just a drizzle of olive oil across the top of the sandwich, or a light coating of the transcendent caper vinaigrette.’
    • ‘Remove the potatoes from the oil and in a medium bowl, combine with the bacon, tomatoes, capers, parsley, tarragon, and cilantro.’
    • ‘I look at a Puttanesca recipe, and I think to myself ‘olive oil, Chili pepper flakes, anchovies, Tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives’.’
    • ‘Combine in a frying pan with the olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds, capers, sea salt and pepper, and gently stew for 10 to 15 minutes, without actually ‘frying’ or browning.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat, and add the garlic, capers, chilli or cayenne and anchovy fillets.’
    • ‘They go well with the strong Mediterranean flavours of anchovy, garlic, capers, extra virgin olive oil, rosemary and oregano, and Greek cheeses such as feta and halloumi.’
    • ‘Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, chilli, capers and white wine; cook for 1 minute, stirring.’
    • ‘In a large bowl, lightly mix the olive oil, garlic, chilli, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt and pepper.’
    • ‘Place the artichokes, walnuts, cheese dice, anchovies, capers, olives and parsley in a bowl.’
    • ‘In a large frying pan, combine the olive oil, diced salmon, lemon zest, capers, parsley, sea salt and pepper and cook gently until the salmon changes colour.’
    • ‘Make the stuffing by combining the garlic, parsley, coriander, lemon, capers, breadcrumbs and almonds.’
    • ‘When fully incorporated, add the capers, parsley, the vinegars and the water.’
    • ‘Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and thyme; season with salt and white pepper to taste.’
    • ‘The thick fillet, sprawled on a banana leaf like a centrefold, was served sprinkled with the odd caper, like little khaki army helmets camouflaged under a limp coriander net.’
    • ‘Add the garlic, olives, capers, chopped basil and lemon zest.’
    • ‘For the tuna, in a medium bowl, combine the tuna, shallots, onion, capers, the Dijon mustard, and rice wine vinegar, and toss to coat.’
    • ‘There were no capers, no bacon and only three croutons (I should not have to, or be able to, count them).’
    • ‘Mix the tomatoes with the parsley and olives, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper.’
  • 2The shrub from which capers are taken.

    • ‘Avinoam Danin, a botanist from Hebrew University of Jerusalem claims he has identified pollen from the tumbleweed Gundelia tournefortii and a bean caper on the shroud.’
    • ‘A caper is a biennial spiny shrub that bears a fleshy rounded leaves and big white/pink flowers’
    • ‘They lay their eggs on plants in the caper family, like the wild passion fruit bush.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from French câpres or Latin capparis, from Greek kapparis; later interpreted as plural, hence the loss of the final -s in the 16th century.

Pronunciation

caper

/ˈkeɪpə/