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[kap-i-tl-ahyz] /ˈkæp ɪ tlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), capitalized, capitalizing.
to write or print in capital letters letters or with an initial capital letter.
to authorize a certain amount of stocks and bonds in the corporate charter of:
to capitalize a corporation.
to issue stock as a dividend, thereby capitalizing retained earnings, or as settlement of an unpaid arrearage of preferred dividends.
Accounting. to set up (expenditures) as business assets in the books of account instead of treating as expense.
to supply with capital.
to estimate the value of (a stock or an enterprise).
verb (used without object), capitalized, capitalizing.
to take advantage of; turn something to one's advantage (often followed by on):
to capitalize on one's opportunities.
Also, especially British, capitalise.
Origin of capitalize
An Americanism dating back to 1755-65; capital1 + -ize
Related forms
capitalizable, adjective
capitalizer, noun
noncapitalized, adjective
uncapitalized, adjective
7. profit by, exploit, utilize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for capitalised
Historical Examples
  • Land would depreciate in value by an amount equal to the capitalised tax.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
  • It is higher than the capitalised value of the present revenue or rent.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
  • Doubtless this is deliberately stage-managed and capitalised, but it is effectively done.

    Greenwich Village Anna Alice Chapin
  • The son was the one, it seems, who capitalised the false reputation of the old man.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
  • A hint, a suggestion, might have capitalised a dozen claims to having said so all along.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • Still, that won't give her much, capitalised, poor old creature.

    The Eldest Son Archibald Marshall
  • Here, a surplus value of 570s can be capitalised because from the very outset it consists in means of production.

  • "There's a man who has capitalised his conscience," sneered a Webb follower with a smile.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
  • Are there in Cuba any economies or annual profits that can be capitalised?

    Industrial Cuba Robert P. Porter
  • Capital must assume commodity-form, so that the particular portion of it which is earmarked for accumulation can be capitalised.

British Dictionary definitions for capitalised


verb (mainly transitive)
(intransitive) foll by on. to take advantage (of); profit (by)
to write or print (text) in capital letters or with the first letter of (a word or words) in capital letters
to convert (debt or retained earnings) into capital stock
to authorize (a business enterprise) to issue a specified amount of capital stock
to provide with capital
(accounting) to treat (expenditures) as assets
  1. to estimate the present value of (a periodical income)
  2. to compute the present value of (a business) from actual or potential earnings
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for capitalised



"write or print in capital letters," 1764, from capital (n.1) + -ize. Meaning "to convert (assets) to capital" is recorded from 1868. Related: Capitalized; capitalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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