Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!

capital Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun assets available for use in the production of further assets
    working capital.
  2. noun wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or business and human resources of economic value
  3. noun a seat of government
  4. noun one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis; capitals were kept in the upper half of the type case and so became known as upper-case letters"
    uppercase; capital letter; upper-case letter; majuscule.
    • printers once kept the type for capitals and for small letters in separate cases
  5. noun a center that is associated more than any other with some activity or product
    • the crime capital of Italy
    • the drug capital of Columbia
  6. noun the federal government of the United States
  7. noun a book written by Karl Marx (1867) describing his economic theories
    Das Kapital.
  8. noun the upper part of a column that supports the entablature
    cap; chapiter.
  9. adjective satellite first-rate
    • a capital fellow
    • a capital idea
  10. adjective satellite of primary importance
    • our capital concern was to avoid defeat
  11. adjective satellite uppercase
    majuscule; great.
    • capital A
    • great A
    • many medieval manuscripts are in majuscule script

Cap"i*tal adjective
F. capital, L. capitalis capital (in senses 1 & 2), fr. caput head. See Chief, and cf. Capital, n.
  1. Of or pertaining to the head. Obs.
    Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal pain. Milton.
  2. Having reference to, or involving, the forfeiture of the head or life; affecting life; punishable with death; as, capital trials; capital punishment.
    Many crimes that are capital among us. Swift.
    To put to death a capital offender. Milton.
  3. First in importance; chief; principal.
    A capital article in religion Atterbury.
    Whatever is capital and essential in Christianity. I. Taylor.
  4. Chief, in a political sense, as being the seat of the general government of a state or nation; as, Washington and Paris are capital cities.
  5. Of first rate quality; excellent; as, a capital speech or song. Colloq. Syn. -- Chief; leading; controlling; prominent.
Cap"i*tal noun
Cf. L. capitellum and Capitulum, a small head, the head, top, or capital of a column, dim. of caput head; F. chapiteau, OF. capitel. See Chief, and cf. Cattle, Chattel, Chapiter, Chapter.
  1. (Arch.) The head or uppermost member of a column, pilaster, etc. It consists generally of three parts, abacus, bell (or vase), and necking. See these terms, and Column.
  2. Cf. F. capilate, fem., sc. ville. (Geog.) The seat of government; the chief city or town in a country; a metropolis. "A busy and splendid capital" Macauly.
  3. Cf. F. capital. Money, property, or stock employed in trade, manufactures, etc.; the sum invested or lent, as distinguished from the income or interest. See Capital stock, under Capital, a.
  4. (Polit. Econ.) That portion of the produce of industry, which may be directly employed either to support human beings or to assist in production. M'Culloch. ✍ When wealth is used to assist production it is called capital. The capital of a civilized community includes fixed capital (i.e. buildings, machines, and roads used in the course of production and exchange) amd circulating capital (i.e., food, fuel, money, etc., spent in the course of production and exchange). T. Raleing.
  5. Anything which can be used to increase one's power or influence.
    He tried to make capital out of his rival's discomfiture. London Times.
  6. (Fort.) An imaginary line dividing a bastion, ravelin, or other work, into two equal parts.
  7. A chapter, or section, of a book. Obs.
    Holy St. Bernard hath said in the 59th capital. Sir W. Scott.
  8. (Print.) See Capital letter, under Capital, a.

Webster 1913