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capital letter

a letter of the alphabet that usually differs from its corresponding lowercase letter in form and height, as A, B, Q, and R as distinguished from a, b, q, and r : used as the initial letter of a proper name, the first word of a sentence, etc.
Also called capital. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for capital letters
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You are so rich, and so prudent, that the word in capital letters cannot frighten you.

  • We are impatient of abstractions and shy of capital letters.

  • This should be given in capital letters precisely as it is desired to appear.

    The Book-Hunter at Home P. B. M. Allan
  • The absence of capital letters at the beginnings of divisions.

    The Library Andrew Lang
  • Why do the words “Industry” and “Sloth” begin with capital letters?

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10

    Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • They advertised the attraction in capital letters and created a furore.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • It is only what the Atheist has said, minus the capital letters.

    Theism or Atheism Chapman Cohen
  • So let us learn and observe these rules for the use of capital letters.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton
  • The placing of the capital letters and the punctuation are, of course, modern.

    The Bruce John Barbour
Word Origin and History for capital letters

capital letter


late 14c.; see capital (adj.). So called because it is at the "head" of a sentence or word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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capital letters in Culture

capital letters definition

One of the two kinds of letters. Capital letters, also called upper-case letters, are larger than, and often formed differently from, lower-case letters. Capital letters are used at the beginning of a sentence or a proper name and may be used to show respect. Some examples are: “The dog barked,” Daniel, the Lord, and Queen Elizabeth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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