[ kap-i-tl-ahyz ]
/ 藞k忙p 瑟 tl藢a瑟z /
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See synonyms for: capitalize / capitalizing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), cap路i路tal路ized, cap路i路tal路iz路ing.
verb (used without object), cap路i路tal路ized, cap路i路tal路iz路ing.
to take advantage of; turn something to one's advantage (often followed by on): to capitalize on one's opportunities.

OTHER WORDS FOR capitalize

7 profit by, exploit, utilize.


Capitalization Is Complicated: Can You Answer These Questions Correctly?

With so many rules, capitalization is perfect for a game show. Will you learn something new or take the prize?

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
Also especially British, cap路i路tal路ise .

Origin of capitalize

An Americanism dating back to 1755鈥65; capital1 + -ize


cap路i路tal路iz路a路ble, adjectivecap路i路tal路iz路er, nounnon路cap路i路tal路ized, adjectiveun路cap路i路tal路ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽capitalize mean?

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

A word whose first letter is a capital can be described as capitalized. The state of being capitalized (or the process of capitalizing) is called capitalization, as in Please check your paper for proper punctuation and capitalization.聽聽

In English, words are capitalized for a few different reasons. It is considered a standard rule of English to capitalize proper nouns (which are nouns that refer to specific people, places, or things鈥攎eaning one鈥檚 that have specific names), such as Jess, Mexico, and Nintendo. Capitalizing 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 capitalize the first word in a sentence. Sometimes, we capitalize the first letter of each word in a title, as in To All The Boys I鈥檝e Loved Before.聽

Example: A lot of people don鈥檛 bother to capitalize words when sending text messages.聽

Capitalize also has several other meanings. To capitalize on something means to take advantage of it. You can capitalize on an opportunity or a situation by doing something to benefit from it in some way.

Example: The company is capitalizing on the publicity by releasing new merchandise.聽

In the context of finance, capitalize is used in more specific and technical ways. The most straightforward sense of the word in this context means to supply with capital (money).

Example: Most startups are capitalized by friends and family members before they鈥檙e able to secure significant funding.

Where does聽capitalize come from?

The first records of the word capitalize come from around 1760. The suffix -ize is used to form verbs and means 鈥渢o make鈥 or 鈥渢o convert into.鈥 The base word capital comes from the Latin capit膩lis, meaning 鈥渃oncerning the head,鈥 or 鈥渃hief,鈥 from caput, 鈥渉ead.鈥 The word capital in the sense of money comes from the Medieval Latin capit膩le, meaning 鈥渨ealth.鈥

It can be confusing to know whether or not to capitalize certain words in certain situations, but a capitalization guide can help.

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What are some other forms related to capitalize?

  • capitalized (past tense verb, adjective)
  • uncapitalized (adjective)
  • noncapitalized (adjective)
  • capitalizable (adjective)
  • capitalization (noun)

What are some synonyms for capitalize?

What are some words that share a root or word element with capitalize?聽


What are some words that often get used in discussing capitalize?

How is聽capitalize used in real life?

Capitalize can be used in many different contexts. Capitalizing words is an important part of spelling and grammar.


Try using聽capitalize!

Which of the following kinds of words is often capitalized?

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

How to use capitalize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for capitalize



/ (藞k忙p瑟t蓹藢la瑟z) /

verb (mainly tr)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012