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capital letter

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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.
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Also called capital.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

MORE ABOUT CAPITAL LETTER

What is a capital letter?

A capital letter is the bigger, taller version of a letter (like W), as opposed to the smaller version, which is called a lowercase letter (like w).

Capital letters are also called uppercase letters or simply capitals.

Some capital letters are just larger, taller versions of their lowercase counterparts (like capital W and lowercase w or capital C and lowercase c), but in many cases the two versions of the letter take different forms altogether, such as capital A and lowercase a or capital B and lowercase b.

To capitalize a word is to make its first letter a capital letter. For example, to capitalize the word polish (which is here spelled with a lowercase p), you would write it with a capital P, as Polish.

The state of being capitalized (or the process of capitalizing) is called capitalization, as in Please check your paper for proper punctuation and capitalization.  

In English, capital letters are used at the beginning of words for a few different reasons. It is considered a standard rule of English to use a capital letter to start proper nouns (which are nouns that refer to specific people, places, or things—meaning one’s that have specific names), such as Jess, Mexico, and Nintendo. Using a capital letter at the start of a word can change the way the reader interprets its meaning, as in the case of polish (a verb meaning to make something shinier) and Polish (an adjective describing someone from Poland) or apple (the fruit) and Apple (the company).

We also use a capital letter for the first letter of the first word in a sentence. Sometimes, we use a capital letter for the first letter of each word in a title, as in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. 

Some acronyms and abbreviations are written using all capital letters, such as NASA and U.S. A word written entirely in capital letters (like WHAT) is said to be written in caps or all caps. 

Example: A lot of people don’t bother using capital letters in text messages unless they want to emphasize something.

Where does capital letter come from?

The term capital letter has been used since at least the 1400s. The word capital comes from the Latin capitālis, meaning “concerning the head,” or “chief,” from caput, “head.”

It can be confusing to know whether or not to use a capital letter in certain situations, but a capitalization guide can help.

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What are some synonyms for capital letter?

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

 

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

 

How is capital letter used in real life?

Capital letters are used in the beginning of names and other proper nouns, at the beginning of sentences, at the beginning of words in titles, and in some abbreviations. In casual use, a word might be written in all capital letters for emphasis.

 

 

Try using capital letter!

Which of the following kinds of words is often spelled with a capital letter at the beginning?

A. proper nouns
B. the first word in a sentence
C. the first word in a title
D. all of the above

How to use capital letter in a sentence

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