capital letter


noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. capital gain,
  2. capital gains,
  3. capital gains tax,
  4. capital goods,
  5. capital investment,
  6. capital letters,
  7. capital levy,
  8. capital loss,
  9. capital market,
  10. capital offense

Also called capital.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for capital letters

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.

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.