Definition of capitulate in English:



  • Cease to resist an opponent or an unwelcome demand; surrender.

    ‘the patriots had to capitulate to the enemy forces’
    • ‘Guerin's family wanted her off the beat, but her editors capitulated to her demands.’
    • ‘But, as hostilities begin, these non-military efforts to influence combine with military force until the regime capitulates.’
    • ‘Despite its effectiveness, the CWU has capitulated to management demands that originally provoked the strike.’
    • ‘The fish yielded slowly, making powerful but short runs, eventually capitulating to the constant pressure of the line, rod and drag.’
    • ‘Their intention is apparently to use the weather to force the region to capitulate to their demands for regime change.’
    • ‘The various forces converged in April 1945, and the Berlin garrison commander capitulated on 2 May.’
    • ‘This alone had made it possible to seize ocean bases from which to launch the final attack and force her metropolitan Army to capitulate without striking a blow.’
    • ‘On Thursday morning, October 11, executives of the five networks issued a joint decision essentially capitulating to the government demand.’
    • ‘Furthermore, they have resisted capitulating to the world at large and remained faithful to the community of believers in Sardis.’
    • ‘Rhonda stands by her demand, and Philip capitulates, reluctantly agreeing to a December wedding.’
    • ‘However, there is never an excuse for capitulating and surrendering the public interest to the dictates of the market.’
    • ‘On 29 May there was a bombshell - the Belgian army had capitulated, reducing further the perimeter around Dunkirk.’
    • ‘Of course it helps to have days like this, where one of Microsoft's most audacious business opponents finally capitulated.’
    • ‘An effort without ground action leaves the decision of when to capitulate with the enemy.’
    • ‘So great was the demoralization that formidable fortresses capitulated to mere cavalry units.’
    • ‘Pilot association members sacked their union executive last November for capitulating to government demands for staff cuts and huge concessions on wages.’
    • ‘He also implied the Russian Government of Vladimir Putin should now capitulate to Chechen demands for independence.’
    • ‘The Company refuses to capitulate on its demands for four separate enterprise agreements to cover the different sections at Joy.’
    • ‘How many countries would capitulate to the overwhelming demands of the document?’
    • ‘On 20 June it capitulated, the garrison of 23,000 men surrendering, with vast quantities of stores.’
    surrender, give in, yield, admit defeat, concede defeat, give up the struggle, submit, back down, climb down, give way, cave in, succumb, crumble, bow to someone, bow to something
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘parley, draw up terms’): from French capituler, from medieval Latin capitulare ‘draw up under headings’, from Latin capitulum, diminutive of caput ‘head’.