Hypertext Webster Gateway: "captain"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

(1.) Heb. sar (1 Sam. 22:2; 2 Sam. 23:19). Rendered "chief,"
Gen. 40:2; 41:9; rendered also "prince," Dan. 1:7; "ruler,"
Judg. 9:30; "governor,' 1 Kings 22:26. This same Hebrew word
denotes a military captain (Ex. 18:21; 2 Kings 1:9; Deut. 1:15;
1 Sam. 18:13, etc.), the "captain of the body-guard" (Gen.
37:36; 39:1; 41:10; Jer. 40:1), or, as the word may be rendered,
"chief of the executioners" (marg.). The officers of the king's
body-guard frequently acted as executioners. Nebuzar-adan (Jer.
39:13) and Arioch (Dan. 2:14) held this office in Babylon.

The "captain of the guard" mentioned in Acts 28:16 was the
Praetorian prefect, the commander of the Praetorian troops.

(2.) Another word (Heb. katsin) so translated denotes
sometimes a military (Josh. 10:24; Judg. 11:6, 11; Isa. 22:3
"rulers;" Dan. 11:18) and sometimes a civil command, a judge,
magistrate, Arab. _kady_, (Isa. 1:10; 3:6; Micah 3:1, 9).

(3.) It is also the rendering of a Hebrew word (shalish)
meaning "a third man," or "one of three." The LXX. render in
plural by _tristatai_; i.e., "soldiers fighting from chariots,"
so called because each war-chariot contained three men, one of
whom acted as charioteer while the other two fought (Ex. 14:7;
15:4; 1 Kings 9:22; comp. 2 Kings 9:25). This word is used also
to denote the king's body-guard (2 Kings 10:25; 1 Chr. 12:18; 2
Chr. 11:11) or aides-de-camp.

(4.) The "captain of the temple" mentioned in Acts 4:1 and
5:24 was not a military officer, but superintendent of the guard
of priests and Levites who kept watch in the temple by night.
(Comp. "the ruler of the house of God," 1 Chr. 9:11; 2 Chr.
31:13; Neh. 11:11.)

(5.) The Captain of our salvation is a name given to our Lord
(Heb. 2:10), because he is the author and source of our
salvation, the head of his people, whom he is conducting to
glory. The "captain of the Lord's host" (Josh. 5:14, 15) is the
name given to that mysterious person who manifested himself to
Abraham (Gen. 12:7), and to Moses in the bush (Ex. 3:2, 6, etc.)
the Angel of the covenant. (See {ANGEL}.)

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Captain \Cap"tain\, v. t.
To act as captain of; to lead. [R.]

Men who captained or accompanied the exodus from
existing forms. --Lowell.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Captain \Cap"tain\, a.
Chief; superior. [R.]

captain jewes in the carcanet. --Shak.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Captain \Cap"tain\ (k[a^]p"t[i^]n), n. [OE. capitain, captain,
OF. capitain, F. capitaine (cf. Sp. capitan, It. capitano),
LL. capitaneus, capitanus, fr. L. caput the head. See under
{Chief}, and cf. {Chieftain}.]
1. A head, or chief officer; as:
(a) The military officer who commands a company, troop, or
battery, or who has the rank entitling him to do so
though he may be employed on other service.
(b) An officer in the United States navy, next above a
commander and below a commodore, and ranking with a
colonel in the army.
(c) By courtesy, an officer actually commanding a vessel,
although not having the rank of captain.
(d) The master or commanding officer of a merchant vessel.
(e) One in charge of a portion of a ship's company; as, a
captain of a top, captain of a gun, etc.
(f) The foreman of a body of workmen.
(g) A person having authority over others acting in
concert; as, the captain of a boat's crew; the captain
of a football team.

A trainband captain eke was he. --Cowper.

The Rhodian captain, relying on . . . the
lightness of his vessel, passed, in open day,
through all the guards. --Arbuthnot.

2. A military leader; a warrior.

Foremost captain of his time. --Tennyson.

{Captain general}.
(a) The commander in chief of an army or armies, or of the
(b) The Spanish governor of Cuba and its dependent

{Captain lieutenant}, a lieutenant with the rank and duties
of captain but with a lieutenant's pay, -- as in the first
company of an English regiment.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: an officer holding a rank below a major but above a
2: the naval officer in command of a military ship [syn: {skipper}]
3: a policeman in charge of a precinct [syn: {police captain},
{police chief}]
4: an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship [syn:
{master}, {sea captain}, {skipper}]
5: the leader of a group of people; "a captain of industry"
[syn: {chieftain}]
6: the pilot ins charge of an airship [syn: {senior pilot}]
7: a diningroom attendant who is in charge of the waiters and
the seating of customers [syn: {head waiter}, {maitre
v : be the captain of a sports team

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