verb (used with object), cap·i·tal·ized, cap·i·tal·iz·ing.

verb (used without object), cap·i·tal·ized, cap·i·tal·iz·ing.

to take advantage of; turn something to one's advantage (often followed by on): to capitalize on one's opportunities.

Also especially British, cap·i·tal·ise.

Origin of capitalize

An Americanism dating back to 1755–65; capital1 + -ize
Related formscap·i·tal·iz·a·ble, adjectivecap·i·tal·iz·er, nounnon·cap·i·tal·ized, adjectiveun·cap·i·tal·ized, adjective

Synonyms for capitalize

7. profit by, exploit, utilize. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for capitalise

Historical Examples of capitalise

  • James as a temperamental Puritan—one is forced to capitalise the unhappy word!


    James Huneker

  • So evidence was given as to his income; and the idea was to capitalise it at £8,000.

  • This transaction furnishes a fair illustration of the basis on which this inner group is able to capitalise its financial power.

    Readings in Money and Banking

    Chester Arthur Phillips

  • Dollar credit will be a world necessity if we capitalise the opportunity that peace may bring us.

    The War After the War

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson

  • It is, therefore, up to the American exporter to capitalise the needs of the nation and the good will that it bears toward us.

    The War After the War

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson

British Dictionary definitions for capitalise



verb (mainly tr)

(intr foll by on) to take advantage (of); profit (by)
to write or print (text) in capital letters or with the first letter of (a word or words) in capital letters
to convert (debt or retained earnings) into capital stock
to authorize (a business enterprise) to issue a specified amount of capital stock
to provide with capital
accounting to treat (expenditures) as assets
  1. to estimate the present value of (a periodical income)
  2. to compute the present value of (a business) from actual or potential earnings
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

Word Origin and History for capitalise

chiefly British English spelling of capitalize (q.v.). For suffix, see -ize.



"write or print in capital letters," 1764, from capital (n.1) + -ize. Meaning "to convert (assets) to capital" is recorded from 1868. Related: Capitalized; capitalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper