Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in armies, navies, Public Health Service, coast guards, etc., typically at the level of an officer commanding a company or battalion of infantry, a ship, or a battery of artillery, or similar distinct unit. The terms also may be used as an informal or honorary title for persons in similar commanding roles.
The term "captain" derives from katepánō (Ancient Greek: κατεπάνω, lit. '[the one] placed at the top', or 'the topmost'), which was used as title for a senior Byzantine military rank and office. The word was Latinized as capetanus/catepan, and its meaning seems to have merged with that of the late Latin "capitaneus" (which derives from the classical Latin word "caput", meaning head). This hybridized term gave rise to the English language term captain and its equivalents in other languages (Capitan, Capitaine, Capitano, Capitão, Kapitan, Kapitän, Kapitein, Kapteeni, Kapten, kapitány, Kapudan Pasha, Kobtan, etc.).
Occupations or roles
- Captain (armed forces), a commissioned officer rank corresponding to the field commander of a company of soldiers usually, or that of a battery of an artillery battalion (company second-in-command or specialist platoon commander in UK).
- Captain (naval), a commissioned officer rank in the navy.
- Captain (nautical), a licensed mariner or person who is legally in command of a ship, a yacht or another type of vessel that may or may not be carrying passengers for hire; corresponding to the work condition of shipmaster or as usually said master.
- Captain (airlines), a licensed civilian airman or person who is legally in command of an aircraft; corresponding to the work condition of pilot in command colloquially said PIC.
- Fire captain, officer in a fire department
- Police captain, officer in a police organization
- Group Captain, a senior commissioned rank in many air forces
- Captain of industry, business leader
- Captain of the Port, harbour (UK) or Coast Guard (USA) post
- Precinct captain, political party's representative at an election precinct
- School captain, student elected or appointed to represent the school
- Captain Regent, head of state of San Marino
- Captain-major, colonial officer of a Portuguese possession
- Captain-commandant, a Belgian military rank
- Katepano, a senior Byzantine officer (and word from which "captain" derived)
- Kapudan Pasha
- Kapitan Cina
- Captal, a regional title in Southern France
- Kapitän bzw. „Kapitän zur See“ (Deutsche Marine), Nato OF-5 grade