Definition of capitulary in US English:



  • A royal ordinance under the Merovingian dynasty.

    • ‘Codes were seen as rights of the people, capitularies as royal legislation.’
    • ‘One of Charlemagne's capitularies is entitled ‘On Scribes - That They Should Not Write Corruptly’.’
    • ‘An abridgement of the Carolingian capitularies of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious by Ansegisus, possibly acting in an official capacity, was made in the 820s.’
    • ‘Charlemagne's numerous capitularies (law codes, relating particularly to landholding) contain instructions to his officials to plant vines.’
    • ‘But of the seven remaining curtes, only Marengo seems to have had any particular structure, which made it possible, as in Corteolona, to host the royal assembly that issued the capitulary in 825.’
    • ‘But the capitularies could and did range widely, and Charles issued decrees even concerning the conduct of the clergy.’


Mid 17th century: from late Latin capitularius, from Latin capitulum in the sense ‘section of a law’.