punishment by death for a crime; death penalty.
Capital vs. CapitolCapital and capitol are both commonly used in political contexts and are separated by just one letter, making them frustratingly easy to confuse. When it comes to these two terms, it’s important to note that one has a number of meanings while the other refers to a certain type of building. Capital has many definitions. It can mean “the wealth owned or employed in business …
Why do we use capital and lower case letters, and how did both types come to be?Capitalization rules tend to vary by language and can be quite complicated. It is widely understood that the first word of a sentence and all proper nouns are always capitalized. However, what is not so clear is the origin of the upper case distinction that has become common practice, especially in regards to Modern English. To unmask the origin of the capital letter we need …
- capital levy,
- capital loss,
- capital market,
- capital offense,
- capital outlay,
- capital resources,
- capital ship,
- capital stock,
- capital structure,
- capital sum
Origin of capital punishment
First recorded in 1575–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for capital punishment
The capital-punishment man was the Marquis of Beccaria, and that of makes a great difference in Europe.Stories of Invention|Edward E. Hale
the punishment of death for a crime; death penalty
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
The infliction of the death penalty as punishment for certain crimes. (See capital offense.)
In the United States, capital punishment has been an extremely controversial issue on legal, moral, and ethical grounds. In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was not, in principle, cruel and unusual punishment (and not, therefore, unconstitutional), but that its implementation through existing state laws was unconstitutional. In 1976, the Supreme Court again ruled that the death penalty was not unconstitutional, though a mandatory death penalty for any crime was. Thirty-nine states now practice the death penalty.
The death penalty for a crime.
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.