1. Literally, a head or chief officer; appropriately, the military officer who commands a company, whether of infantry, cavalry, artillery or matrosses.
2. The commander of a ship of war, or of a merchantman. But the latter is often called a master.
3. The commander of a military band, a sense that occurs in the sciptures; as a captain of fifty.
4. A man skilled in war or military affairs; as, Lord Wellington is a great captain
5. A chief commander. Shak. But in this sense rarely used, but in composition.
CAPTAIN-GENERAL, is the commander in chief of an army, or of the militia. The governor of a state is Captain-General of the militia.
CAPTAIN-LIEUTENANT, is an officer, who with the rank of captain and pay of lieutenant, commands a company or troop. Thus the colonel of a regiment being the captain of the first company, that company is commanded by a Captain-Lieutenant.
CAPTAIN-BANSHAW, or Capudan Bashaw, in Turkey, is the High Admiral.
CAPTAIN, adjective Chief; valiant.