The etymology derives from the Latin capitātus, "having a head," from capit-, meaning "head."
The inferior surface is divided by two ridges into three facets, for articulation with the second, third, and fourth metacarpal bones, that for the third being the largest.
The dorsal surface is broad and rough.
The volar surface is narrow, rounded, and rough, for the attachment of ligaments and a part of the Adductor pollicis muscle.
The lateral surface articulates with the lesser multangular by a small facet at its anterior inferior angle, behind which is a rough depression for the attachment of an interosseous ligament. Above this is a deep, rough groove, forming part of the neck, and serving for the attachment of ligaments; it is bounded superiorly by a smooth, convex surface, for articulation with the navicular.
The medial surface articulates with the hamate by a smooth, concave, oblong facet, which occupies its posterior and superior parts; it is rough in front, for the attachment of an interosseous ligament.
The capitate articulates with seven bones: the scaphoid and lunate proximally, the second metacarpal, third metacarpal, and fourth metacarpal distally, the lesser multangular on the radial side, and the hamate on the ulnar side.