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the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.:
Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
a city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity:
New York is the dance capital of the world.
capital letter.
the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
an accumulated stock of such wealth.
any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.

assets remaining after deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business.
the ownership interest in a business.

any source of profit, advantage, power, etc.; asset:
His indefatigable drive is his greatest capital.
capitalists as a group or class (distinguished from labor):
High taxation has reduced the spending power of capital.
pertaining to financial capital:
capital stock.
principal; highly important:
This guide offers suggestions of capital interest to travelers.
chief, especially as being the official seat of government of a country, state, etc.:
the capital city of France.
excellent or first-rate:
a capital hotel; a capital fellow.
capital letter.
involving the loss of life:
capital punishment.
punishable by death:
a capital crime; a capital offender.
fatal; extremely serious:
a capital error.
the distinctively treated upper end of a column, pier, or the like.
Contemporary Examples

From Katy Perry to Alice in Chains, the Best Music Videos of the Week Victoria Kezra September 6, 2013
Boko Haram’s Sick Hatred of Schoolgirls Christopher Dickey April 15, 2014
Will Floods Drown Bangkok? Lennox Samuels October 11, 2011
Where in the World Is Yanukovych? Oleg Shynkarenko February 24, 2014
Lloyd Blankfein’s PR Coup Tunku Varadarajan April 30, 2010

Historical Examples

The American Missionary–Volume 39, No. 02, February, 1885 Various
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
Expansion and Conflict William E. Dodd
Within the Law Marvin Dana
The Copeland Method Vanness Copeland


the seat of government of a country or other political unit
(as modifier): a capital city

material wealth owned by an individual or business enterprise
wealth available for or capable of use in the production of further wealth, as by industrial investment
make capital of, make capital out of, to get advantage from
(sometimes capital) the capitalist class or their interests: capital versus labour

the ownership interests of a business as represented by the excess of assets over liabilities
the nominal value of the authorized or issued shares
(as modifier): capital issues

any assets or resources, esp when used to gain profit or advantage

a capital letter Abbreviation cap., cap
(as modifier): capital B

with a capital letter, (used to give emphasis to a statement): he is mean with a capital M
(prenominal) (law) involving or punishable by death: a capital offence
very serious; fatal: a capital error
primary, chief, or principal: our capital concern is that everyone be fed
of, relating to, or designating the large modern majuscule letter used chiefly as the initial letter in personal names and place names and other uniquely specificatory nouns, and often for abbreviations and acronyms Compare small (sense 9) See also upper case
(mainly Brit) excellent; first-rate: a capital idea
the upper part of a column or pier that supports the entablature Also called chapiter, cap

[The term capital] made its first appearance in medieval Latin as an adjective capitalis (from caput, head) modifying the word pars, to designate the principal sum of a money loan. The principal part of a loan was contrasted with the “usury”–later called interest–the payment made to the lender in addition to the return of the sum lent. This usage, unknown to classical Latin, had become common by the thirteenth century and possibly had begun as early as 1100 A.D., in the first chartered towns of Europe. [Frank A. Fetter, “Reformulation of the Concepts of Capital and Income in Economics and Accounting,” 1937, in “Capital, Interest, & Rent,” 1977]

Also see cattle, and cf. sense development of fee, pecuniary.

Note: The form of the capital often serves to distinguish one style of architecture from another. For example, the Corinthian, Doric, and Ionic styles of Greek architecture all have different capitals.

see: make capital out of


Read Also:

  • Capital-account

    a business account stating the owner’s or shareholder’s interest in the assets. capital accounts, Accounting. accounts showing the net worth in a business enterprise. noun (economics) that part of a balance of payments composed of movements of capital and international loans and grants Compare current account (sense 2) (accounting) a financial statement showing the net […]

  • Capital-allowance

    noun the practice of allowing a certain amount of money spent by a company on fixed assets to be taken off the profits of the company before tax is imposed

  • Capital-asset

    fixed asset.

  • Capital-budget

    a statement of proposed financial expenditures, especially for schools, parks, and other municipal facilities, and often including a plan for financing.

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