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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ All three phones were kaput.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"finished, worn out, dead," 1895, from German kaputt "destroyed, ruined, lost" (1640s), which in this sense probably is a misunderstanding of the phrase capot machen, a partial translation of French faire capot, a phrase which meant "to win all the tricks (from the other player) in piquet," an obsolete card game. Literally "to make a bonnet;" perhaps the notion is throwing a hood over the other player, but faire capot also meant in French marine jargon "to overset in a squall when under sail." The word was popularized in English during World War I.\n\n"Kaput" -- a slang word in common use which corresponds roughly to the English "done in," the French "fichu." Everything enemy was "kaput" in the early days of German victories.

[F. Britten Austin, "According to Orders," New York, 1919]

\nFrench capot is literally "cover, bonnet," also the name of a type of greatcloak worn by sailors and soldiers (see capote). The card-playing sense attested in German only from 1690s, but capot in the (presumably) transferred sense of "destroyed, ruined, lost" is attested from 1640s. [see William Jervis Jones, "A Lexicon of French Borrowings in the German Vocabulary (1575-1648)," Berlin, de Gruyter, 1976]. In Hoyle and other English gaming sources, faire capot is "to win all the tricks," and a different phrase, être capot, "to be a bonnet," is sometimes cited as the term for losing them. The sense reversal in German might have come about because if someone wins all the tricks the other player has to lose them, and the same word capot, when it entered English from French in the mid-17c. meant "to score a cabot against; to win all the tricks from."\n\n"There are others, says a third, that have played with my Lady Lurewell at picquet besides my lord; I have capotted her myself two or three times in an evening."

[George Farquhar (1677-1707), "Sir Harry Wildair"]


a. (context slang English) Out of order; not working; broken.


adj. destroyed or killed; "we are gone geese" [syn: done for(p), kaput(p), gone(a)]


Kaput (, also Romanized as Kāpūt) is a village in Sokmanabad Rural District, Safayyeh District, Khoy County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 758, in 127 families.

Usage examples of "kaput".

Their artificial-gravity system was kaput, and so the two men blacked out.

Parr threw it down, grabbed some ammunition, and returned to the CP to tell Howard that the Piat was kaput.

Today the washing machine and the tumble dryer were kaput, and it was warmer out than in.