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ca·per 1

1. A playful leap or hop.
2. A frivolous escapade or prank.
3. Slang An illegal plot or enterprise, especially one involving theft.
intr.v. ca·pered, ca·per·ing, ca·pers
To leap or frisk about; frolic.

[Alteration of capriole.]

ca·per 2

1. A usually spiny Mediterranean shrub (Capparis spinosa) having white to pale lilac flowers and dehiscent fruits with reddish pulp.
2. A pickled flower bud of this plant, used as a pungent condiment in sauces, relishes, and various other dishes.

[Middle English capar, ultimately (probably via back-formation from earlier caperis, caper bush, taken as a plural with the ending -s) from Latin capparis, from Greek kapparis, of unknown origin.]


pl n
(Cookery) the flower buds of the caper plant, which are pickled and used as a condiment


The buds of a Mediterranean shrub. Used pickled in sauces and garnishes.
References in classic literature ?
You will ask why did I worry myself with such antics: answer, because it was very dull to sit with one's hands folded, and so one began cutting capers.
The sage has left nothing in the ink-bottle," replied Samson; "he tells all and sets down everything, even to the capers that worthy Sancho cut in the blanket.
I cut no capers in the blanket," returned Sancho; "in the air I did, and more of them than I liked.
The Bishop being shorter must perforce accompany them in their gyrations; while the whole company sat and rolled about over the ground, and roared to see my lord of Hereford's queer capers.
I had been cutting up some caper or other --I think it was trying to crawl up the chimney, as i had seen a little sweep do a few days previous; and my stepmother who, somehow or other, was all the time whipping me, or sending me to bed supperless, --my mother dragged me by the legs out of the chimney and packed me off to bed, though it was only two o'clock in the afternoon of the 21st June, the longest day in the year in our hemisphere.
When it was full I left it propped in the fork of a tree, and a few days later, carrying the hateful old man that way, I snatched at my gourd as I passed it and had the satisfaction of a draught of excellent wine so good and refreshing that I even forgot my detestable burden, and began to sing and caper.
Sometimes he would notice it, pat it, call it half-mocking, half-jocular names, and so make it caper with extraordinary delight; sometimes he would ill-treat it, especially after he had been at the whiskey, kicking it, beating it, pelting it with stones or lighted fusees.
4 CAPERS are a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that has anti-bacterial, anticarcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
I'm using parsley, lemon zest, garlic, a few capers for salty sharpness and a touch of pepper for seasoning.
Capers should be consciously used for this purpose and usable water and productive soils should be left for the next generations.
Add three to four slices of tomato on top, then the cooked down red onion on top of that, then the capers, then the goats' cheese.
For us, hosting Critter Capers in the spring and fall allow us to take advantage of Easter and Halloween.