Word of The Day for Monday, January 17, 2011


cap•i•ta•tion (kap-i-TEY-shuhn)  n

1. a poll tax
2. a payment or fee of a fixed amount per person; in medicine: a fixed payment remitted at regular intervals to a medical provider by a managed care organization for an enrolled patient
3. a numbering or assessing by the head

capitate verb; capitative adjective

 from L. capitationem (nom. capitatio), noun of action from a verb derived from caput "head". Meaning "levying of a poll tax" is from 1640s. Meaning "counting of heads" is from 1610s.

Synonyms: levy, tariff, tax, fee
Related Words: from caput "head": cabbage, biceps, capillary, triceps, chapter, chieftain, decapitate, captain, cattle, cadet, mischief, capital, cap

Sentence Examples:
• The provision of supplies of books which circulate among schools goes some way towards setting free the money for library books, available to schools by way of annual capitation grant and from local contribution, which is eligible for subsidy. - Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958

Capitation became popular with HMOs during the 1990s, but interest in it waned when providers claimed they were not being adequately compensated for the care they delivered. -Understanding the Health-Care Debate, Time, 2009

Larry: To be sure we're in a parlous case. The forest laws are dev'lish severe here: an they catch us trespassing upon their hunting ground, we shall pay a neat poll-tax: nothing less than our heads will serve.
Robin: Our heads?
Walter: Yes, faith! they'll soon collect their capitation.
They wear men's heads, sir, hanging at the breast,
Instead of jewels; and at either ear,
Most commonly, a child's, by way of ear-drop.
-The Indian Princess, James Nelson Barker

The Storyline
I should charge a capitation for every person that has tried to tax me today, Anna though to herself. But the toll that was being taken was on her.

Sources: Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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