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capital letter

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noun
  1. 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.
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Also called capital.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for capital letters

capital letter

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

capital letters in Culture

capital letters

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.

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