- the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.: Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
- a city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity: New York is the dance capital of the world.
- capital letter.
- the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
- an accumulated stock of such wealth.
- any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
- assets remaining after deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business.
- the ownership interest in a business.
- any source of profit, advantage, power, etc.; an asset or assets (usually used in combination): He has the political capital to push through the legislation. His indefatigable drive is his greatest capital.
- capitalists as a group or class (distinguished from labor): High taxation has reduced the spending power of capital.
- pertaining to financial capital: capital stock.
- principal; highly important: This guide offers suggestions of capital interest to travelers.
- chief, especially as being the official seat of government of a country, state, etc.: the capital city of France.
- excellent or first-rate: a capital hotel; a capital fellow.
- capital letter.
- involving the loss of life: capital punishment.
- punishable by death: a capital crime; a capital offender.
- fatal; extremely serious: a capital error.
Origin of capital1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- the distinctively treated upper end of a column, pier, or the like.
Origin of capital2
Examples from the Web for capital
Gunshots rang out in Paris this morning on a second day of deadly violence that has stunned the French capital.France Mourns—and Hunts
Nico Hines, Christopher Dickey
January 8, 2015
The mistletoe must have been hanging right across the aisle on Capital Hill.Congress’ Gift That Keeps on Giving
P. J. O’Rourke
December 20, 2014
The second major split between the capital and the court occurred over oral care.The French Court’s Royal Ban on Smiles
December 14, 2014
Ah, gay Paree—the French capital has practically announced its own LGBT friendliness since the Belle Époque.
And the capital city is a veritable utopia of acceptance and integration.
Do this up to the limit of your capital and I will make good anything you lose.
And then we'll have to see about getting all our capital here.
We formed a partnership, with a capital of sixty thousand dollars.Within the Law
"He'll make a capital workman one of these days," she would probably say.Biographical Stories
They pay taxes on their capital and surplus, not on their loans.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
- the seat of government of a country or other political unit
- (as modifier)a capital city
- material wealth owned by an individual or business enterprise
- wealth available for or capable of use in the production of further wealth, as by industrial investment
- make capital of or make capital out of to get advantage from
- (sometimes capital) the capitalist class or their interestscapital versus labour
- the ownership interests of a business as represented by the excess of assets over liabilities
- the nominal value of the authorized or issued shares
- (as modifier)capital issues
- any assets or resources, esp when used to gain profit or advantage
- a capital letterAbbreviation: cap., cap
- (as modifier)capital B
- with a capital letter (used to give emphasis to a statement)he is mean with a capital M
- (prenominal) law involving or punishable by deatha capital offence
- very serious; fatala capital error
- primary, chief, or principalour capital concern is that everyone be fed
- of, relating to, or designating the large modern majuscule letter used chiefly as the initial letter in personal names and place names and other uniquely specificatory nouns, and often for abbreviations and acronymsCompare small (def. 9) See also upper case
- mainly British excellent; first-ratea capital idea
- the upper part of a column or pier that supports the entablatureAlso called: chapiter, cap
Word Origin and History for capital
early 13c., "of or pertaining to the head," from Old French capital, from Latin capitalis "of the head," hence "capital, chief, first," from caput (genitive capitis) "head" (see capitulum).
Meaning "principal" is early 15c. Of letters, "upper case," from late 14c. A capital crime (1520s) is one that affects the life or "head;" capital had a sense of "deadly, mortal" from late 14c. in English, a sense also found in Latin. The felt connection between "head" and "life, mortality" also existed in Old English: e.g. heafodgilt "deadly sin, capital offense," heafdes þolian "to forfeit life." Capital punishment was in Blackstone (1765) and classical Latin capitis poena.
Capital gain is recorded from 1921. Capital goods is recorded from 1899. Of ships, "first-rate, of the line," attested from 1650s. Related: Capitally.
early 15c., "a capital letter," from capital (adj.). The meaning "capital city" is first recorded 1660s (the Old English word was heafodstol). The financial sense is from 1610s (Middle English had chief money "principal fund," mid-14c.), from Medieval Latin capitale "stock, property," noun use of neuter of capitalis "capital, chief, first." (The noun use of this adjective in classical Latin was for "a capital crime.")
[The term capital] made its first appearance in medieval Latin as an adjective capitalis (from caput, head) modifying the word pars, to designate the principal sum of a money loan. The principal part of a loan was contrasted with the "usury"--later called interest--the payment made to the lender in addition to the return of the sum lent. This usage, unknown to classical Latin, had become common by the thirteenth century and possibly had begun as early as 1100 A.D., in the first chartered towns of Europe. [Frank A. Fetter, "Reformulation of the Concepts of Capital and Income in Economics and Accounting," 1937, in "Capital, Interest, & Rent," 1977]
"head of a column or pillar," late 13c., from Anglo-French capitel, Old French chapitel, or directly from Latin capitellum "little head," diminutive of caput (see capitulum).
In architecture, the top portion of a column.
Money used to finance the purchase of the means of production, such as machines, or the machines themselves.
Idioms and Phrases with capital
see make capital out of.