View synonyms for capital



[ kap-i-tl ]


  1. the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.:

    Tokyo is the capital of Japan.

  2. a city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity:

    New York is the dance capital of the world.

  3. the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.

    Synonyms: assets, investment, principal, stock

  4. an accumulated stock of such wealth.
  5. any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
  6. Accounting.
    1. assets remaining after deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business.
    2. the ownership interest in a business.
  7. 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.

  8. capitalists as a group or class ( labor ):

    High taxation has reduced the spending power of capital.


  1. pertaining to financial capital:

    capital stock.

  2. principal; highly important:

    This guide offers suggestions of capital interest to travelers.

    Synonyms: first, primary, prime

    Antonyms: minor, trivial

  3. chief, especially as being the official seat of government of a country, state, etc.:

    the capital city of France.

  4. excellent or first-rate:

    a capital hotel; a capital fellow.

  5. indicating a capital letter; uppercase:

    Nouns in German are capitalized, so Schatz is written with a capital “S.”

  6. involving the loss of life:

    capital punishment.

  7. punishable by death:

    a capital crime;

    a capital offender.

  8. fatal; extremely serious:

    a capital error.



[ kap-i-tl ]


, Architecture.
  1. the distinctively treated upper end of a column, pier, or the like.



/ ˈkæpɪtəl /


  1. the upper part of a column or pier that supports the entablature Also calledchapitercap
“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



/ ˈkæpɪtəl /


    1. the seat of government of a country or other political unit
    2. ( as modifier )

      a capital city

  1. material wealth owned by an individual or business enterprise
  2. wealth available for or capable of use in the production of further wealth, as by industrial investment
  3. make capital of or make capital out of
    to get advantage from
  4. sometimes capital the capitalist class or their interests

    capital versus labour

  5. accounting
    1. the ownership interests of a business as represented by the excess of assets over liabilities
    2. the nominal value of the authorized or issued shares
    3. ( as modifier )

      capital issues

  6. any assets or resources, esp when used to gain profit or advantage
    1. a capital letter Abbreviationcap.cap
    2. ( as modifier )

      capital B

  7. with a capital letter
    (used to give emphasis to a statement)

    he is mean with a capital M

“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


  1. prenominal law involving or punishable by death

    a capital offence

  2. very serious; fatal

    a capital error

  3. primary, chief, or principal

    our capital concern is that everyone be fed

  4. 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 acronyms Compare small See also upper case
  5. excellent; first-rate

    a capital idea

“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


  1. In architecture, the top portion of a column.


  1. Money used to finance the purchase of the means of production, such as machines, or the machines themselves.
Discover More

Confusables Note

The noun capital1 refers to a city or town that is the seat of government; to a capital letter as opposed to a lowercase letter; and to wealth or resources. The noun Capitol refers primarily to the building in Washington, D.C., in which Congress sits or to similar buildings used by state legislatures.
Discover More


The form of the capital often serves to distinguish one style of architecture from another. For example, the Corinthian , Doric , and Ionic styles of Greek architecture all have different capitals.
Discover More

Other Words From

  • capi·tal·ness noun
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of capital1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English; (adjective) from Anglo-French or directly from Latin capitālis “of the head” ( capit-, stem of caput “head” + -ālis adjective suffix; -al 1 ); (noun) from Medieval Latin capitāle “wealth,” noun use of neuter of the adjective capitālis

Origin of capital2

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English capital(e) “head of a pillar,” from Anglo-French capital, capitel, from Late Latin capitellum “capital of a column,” equivalent to capit- (stem of caput ) “head” + -ellum diminutive suffix
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of capital1

C14: from Old French capitel, from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput head

Origin of capital2

C13: from Latin capitālis (adj) concerning the head, chief, from caput head; compare Medieval Latin capitāle (n) wealth, from capitālis (adj)
Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

see make capital out of .
Discover More

Synonym Study

The adjectives capital, chief, major, principal apply to a main or leading representative of a kind. Capital may mean larger or more prominent; it may also suggest preeminence or excellence: capital letter, idea, virtue, etc. Chief means leading, highest in office or power: the chief clerk. Major may refer to greatness of importance, number, or quantity: a major operation, the major part of a population. Principal refers to most distinguished, influential, or foremost: principal officer.
Discover More

Example Sentences

Amazon on Thursday announced the first companies to receive money from a $2 billion venture capital fund it formed to help combat climate change.

From Axios

That’s been the pattern for other recent high-profile, venture-capital backed IPOs.

From Quartz

This capital has helped to de-risk the fund’s investments, allowing it the flexibility to invest in firms that banks might turn away.

From Fortune

So the 11% drop in the valuation would leave investors with a 1% annual capital gain.

From Fortune

Those arrangements offer businesses more flexibility with their capital.

From Fortune

Gunshots rang out in Paris this morning on a second day of deadly violence that has stunned the French capital.

The mistletoe must have been hanging right across the aisle on Capital Hill.

The second major split between the capital and the court occurred over oral care.

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.

"Capital, capital," his lordship would remark with great alacrity, when there was no other way of escape.

When we speak against one capital vice, we ought to speak against its opposite; the middle betwixt both is the point for virtue.

The moon rose on a terrified mob trudging or riding the forty miles of road between Meerut and the Mogul capital.

It is the quiet chef lieu of the Allier, and was once the capital of the Bourbonnais.

All possibility of a general increase of wages depended on the relation of available capital to the numbers of the working men.


Related Words

Discover More

More About Capital

What does capital mean?

A capital is a city or town that acts as the center of a government, such as a city’s or nation’s government, as in Washington, DC, is the capital of the United States.

More casually, a city or town might be a capital of some special importance. For example, New York City is sometimes called the “business capital of the world,” but Albany is the official state capital of New York.

In business and finance, capital is wealth owned by a person or company. Your capital can include the money you have in the bank, property you own, and any stocks or bonds you’ve purchased.

Capital can also describe something very important or first-rate, as in We had so much fun at the fair, that it was a capital day.

Example: The bill was supported by Congressional representatives from 13 states and the capital.

Where does capital come from?

The first records of the term capital come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin capitālis, meaning “wealth.” Capital has several other uses besides describing a nation’s seat of government, most of which stem from wealth and importance, although the capital of a nation tends to have quite a bit of wealth in the sense that it collects taxes.

Your financial capital can be used to spend, provide, and invest in the furthering of one’s wealth, normally in the form of stock market investments or investing into new means of production or projects to improve profits, bringing in more capital. While the terms wealth and capital are synonymous, you’ll find that wealth is used to describe a personal profit, while capital is used to describe funds that are set aside for investing. Capital can also be used in this way to describe something beyond money, such as political power.

In the sense of prominent or important, capital can also describe the most serious crimes, including murder and treason. Someone found guilting of a capital crime would receive capital punishment, that is, the death penalty. Related to this sense, a capital error would be one that is fatal or otherwise extremely serious.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to capital?

What are some synonyms for capital?

What are some words that share a root or word element with capital

What are some words that often get used in discussing capital?

What are some words capital may be commonly confused with?

How is capital used in real life?

Capital is frequently used to describe a city where a government is centered. It’s also used frequently in the business sense of wealth.


Try using capital!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for capital?

A. cash
B. invoice
C. stocks
D. property

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




capitacapital account