Main definitions of capo in English

: capo1capo2

capo1

(also capo tasto)

noun

  • A clamp fastened across all the strings of a fretted musical instrument to raise their tuning by a chosen amount.

    • ‘Tuners, capos, pics, guitar straps and a set of extra strings are all handy toys.’
    • ‘I bet you didn't know Pat Metheny used a capo did you?’
    • ‘Rock players usually have a facility with bar chords and don't need a capo.’
    • ‘Unfulfilled, unfortunately, and someone had apparently moved the capo.’
    • ‘‘Temporary’ should come included with stool and capo, with its murky chord progression and mumbled, depressive vocals.’
    • ‘I have an open-tuned bouzouki, borrowed from a friend, and a capo, so in theory I can play in any key.’
    • ‘With Tielli if he screws up, he stops, laughs and starts again - as he did when he forgot his capo and had to borrow one from Wayne Omaha guitarist-vocalist Matt James.’
    • ‘It can be silly things, like we'll use a capo and drop D, tune the string down to make a chord, rather than just play the chord normally.’
    • ‘When it turned out that Ahuja had forgotten her capo, Osborne kindly ran backstage to get her one.’
    • ‘He was obviously nervous, hands shaking as he put on the capo.’
    brace, vice, press
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: from Italian capo tasto, literally head stop.

Pronunciation:

capo

/ˈkapō/

Main definitions of capo in English

: capo1capo2

capo2

noun

North american
  • The head of a crime syndicate, especially the Mafia, or a branch of one.

    • ‘The Feds say Napolitano was killed in retribution for his ties to Pistone - and they have a ‘high-ranking’ witness who has linked Massino and acting capo Frank Lino to the crime.’
    • ‘Season 4 begins with him confronting his ill-performing capos.’
    • ‘On FBI tapes, Gambino capo DePalma claims the mob controls this union.’
    • ‘Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, the wiseguy dandy, a Catholic uneasily preoccupied by eternal damnation, but employed as a novice enforcer by his Uncle, a capo from the old country.’
    • ‘Back in New York, Tony Sirico, he plays Paulie Walnuts, a Sopranos family capo who's in trouble with Russian Mafia.’
    • ‘Or because we tend to think of the politicians and the presidency as occupying a parallel world - Mafia dons and capos dispatching one another in a turf war.’
    • ‘No, we're not talking James Gandolfini, who returns to the premium channel as capo during the third season of the mob dramedy The Sopranos, which premieres with back-to-back new episodes March 4, but another Jersey guy.’
    • ‘A Genovese crime family capo known as ‘Sammy Meatballs’ was overheard talking about the union.’
    • ‘But as a don, he has no choice but to protect his capos.’
    • ‘He extracted a guilty plea from Mafia capo John Gambino.’
    • ‘Giacomo is both capo, boss, and capofamiglia, head of the family.’
    • ‘A 400-pound capo doesn't vanish into thin air.’
    • ‘Brazzi should surely be a capo, not an employee, and the Five Families think the Corleones want to off him because they have their eye on his lucrative Olive Oil business.’
    • ‘Organised crime is all around, even if it's no longer at the scale when Richie ‘the Boot’ Boiardo - a capo or captain for the famed Genovese family - lived out in Livingston.’
    • ‘However, al Qaeda is not like the Gambino crime family where if you eliminate the various capos and lieutenants of the organization it eventually goes out of business.’
    • ‘In Queens, New York, two weeks of digging an alleged mafia bone yard has led to two capos of the Bonanno crime family.’
    • ‘It was the prosecution of a Gambino crime family capo and his crew for narcotics trafficking, murder, racketeering, jury tampering and other charges.’
    • ‘Tony Soprano is no Kurtz or Keyser Soze, although his capos - Silvio and Paulie Walnuts - do occasionally compare him with Napoleon.’
    • ‘This is the time for the extended family to come together, to pay its respects to the dons and capos, and a time for people who want to be associated with the family to come and be introduced.’
    • ‘Vinnie, Tony, Little Dominic, Charlie, and the big man himself, the capo, Frankie Pero… they didn't quite become firm friends, though he has written to them since his return to Ireland.’

Origin

1950s: from Italian, from Latin caput head.

Pronunciation:

capo

/ˈkapō/