Main definitions of capital in English

: capital1capital2

capital1

noun

  • 1The city or town that functions as the seat of government and administrative centre of a country or region.

    ‘Warsaw is the capital of Poland’
    • ‘Then the next day I went to Vitoria, administrative capital of the Basque region.’
    • ‘Coaches have been booked to ferry demonstrators to the capital from towns and cities across the UK.’
    • ‘The centre of the capital is a sprawling marketplace which probably hasn't had concrete roads since the French packed up and left Mali four decades ago.’
    • ‘The duo paid a six figure sum for the rights to open a store on Hanover Street in the capital's city centre, which opens next month.’
    • ‘It is one of the few European capitals whose city centre was left intact after the war and is today prospering.’
    • ‘In fact, my home town was once the capital of an old territory called Mercia, and has a Norman castle that dates back over 1000 years.’
    • ‘A structural urban development plan for the capital divides the city into five areas that will function as pillars for the development work.’
    • ‘If they do so, it will spark scenes of rejoicing in Settle and prompt an exodus from the town to the capital on April 17.’
    • ‘It would be impossible for major countries of the world, like England, France, the United States, Japan and Germany, to relocate their capitals to other cities.’
    • ‘Aarhus is Denmark's second city and the capital of Jutland, famous notably for its Old Town.’
    • ‘In Europe most urban growth was in the large cities and capitals, and smaller towns declined.’
    • ‘Bridget saw the squalor and poverty of the Christians, who fled the south to live in shanty towns around the capital.’
    • ‘Also in high demand are the townhouses in the capital's New Town.’
    • ‘Tomorrow a new Picasso museum displaying more than 200 works donated by his family opens in his home town, the capital of Andalucia.’
    • ‘The legislative capital will be Hopedale, while the administrative capital will be Nain.’
    • ‘Reports say that the Essonne region south of the capital and the south-western city of Toulouse are the latest to be affected.’
    • ‘Some of the first postal connections, for instance, linked county seats to state capitals and ultimately to Washington, D.C.’
    • ‘On 1 February 1927 the town of Stuart was proclaimed the administrative capital of Central Australia.’
    • ‘The city, which is the capital of the region, is a major industrial centre with a population of over 1 million.’
    • ‘Though not a regular phenomenon as in the state capital, the city does get to experience its share of melodious rendering every now and then.’
    first city, most important city, seat of government, centre of administration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with modifier A place associated more than any other with a specified activity or product.
      ‘the fashion capital of the world’
      • ‘Sri Lanka has acquired an infamous name - the suicide capital of the world - after reaching the highest rate of suicides in the last year.’
      • ‘Late in 1917 Babe moved to Los Angeles which was rapidly replacing Florida and New York as the motion picture capital.’
      • ‘Lola has just moved from New York City, the cultural capital of the world, into the suburbs of New Jersey.’
      • ‘It's official; feminine pretty prints are the overriding message from fashion capitals, colour is key and black is in the shade.’
      • ‘It is turning into the motor-car capital of the world.’
      • ‘So its designers have been spending more time in fashion capitals like Paris and Milan, creating concept drawings of futuristic headsets to explore different designs.’
      • ‘Bangalore is expected to take away a chunk of the traffic as more people from the software capital are emplaning towards the US every day.’
      • ‘We will never be at par with fashion capitals until more money is invested in our industry.’
      • ‘Police said Enterprise, which they describe as the crime capital of Central, was being combed for the killers.’
      • ‘They certainly won't cite the global production capitals of Hollywood and Bombay.’
      • ‘New York's reputation as fashion capital of the United States is long-standing.’
      • ‘It is a hive of creativity, recognized globally as a fashion capital.’
      • ‘Harrogate is the fashion capital of North Yorkshire.’
      • ‘Those chosen will be flown to Paris for training before they are launched in international fashion capitals.’
      • ‘In one of the fashion capitals of the world, there is no end of stylish boutiques and stores to browse.’
      • ‘The event will be the first held by a mass-market clothing chain in one of the world's fashion capitals.’
      • ‘He has been all over and is a regular in the world's fashion capital, Paris.’
      • ‘The properties have been snapped up by people wanting to move into the area, which was a hub of activity when Bradford was the wool capital of the world in the 1800s.’
      • ‘Coming back to you live from the in-game video production capital of the world, New York, New York!’
      • ‘The Gold Coast is undoubtedly the theme park capital of Queensland.’
  • 2mass noun Wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available for a purpose such as starting a company or investing.

    ‘rates of return on invested capital were high’
    • ‘They invested in more land, preferring to extend the scale of their operations rather than sink capital into improved productivity.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, private banks want to get their hands on customers' capital, which they invest with gusto in return for juicy fees.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you may be able to make greater returns from investing your capital, but this is by no means certain.’
    • ‘We need some expansion capital, they don't particularly want to play.’
    • ‘Now the firm believes the injection of development capital will help propel a new range of its products on to the worldwide stage.’
    • ‘The obvious risks from exposure to the great unwashed are inevitably outweighed by the growth that access to all that fresh capital will produce.’
    • ‘The payback period is the number of years it takes before a project's discounted cash flows equal the initial capital invested.’
    • ‘It's been a site for assembling capital to fertilize productive enterprises.’
    • ‘If you want to increase the entire wealth of the country, you need to have people saving and investing because you need capital.’
    • ‘The capital is invested by the institution to a large degree in interest bearing investments like government stock, etc.’
    • ‘The international airline industry is exceptional in that over its 60-year life it has never yielded a positive return on capital invested.’
    • ‘In addition to a team, a space enterprise requires start-up capital.’
    • ‘Eircom says it is entitled to a return on capital invested in the business and to recover its operating costs.’
    • ‘They all need capital to meet their needs for expansion and technical development.’
    • ‘We look to business and the market to invest and develop financial capital, and the State has a role in regulating the economy.’
    • ‘The average return on capital invested in land was only about 5 per cent, or little more than half of the return available in commerce or in industry.’
    • ‘Such a fast return on capital invested made the management purchase of Parc look like a real bargain.’
    • ‘There's a growing group of wealthy people who want to invest some of their capital in something that has a social purpose.’
    • ‘The company, which is developing a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, gained most of its development capital from overseas.’
    • ‘The capitalist invests his or her capital to produce wealth, and only for that purpose.’
    money, finance, finances, funds, the wherewithal, the means, assets, wealth, resources, reserves, deep pockets, stock, principal
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The excess of a company's assets over its liabilities.
      • ‘Current assets minus current liabilities equals the working capital available.’
      • ‘Owner's equity is the net worth or capital of an individual or business.’
    2. 2.2 People who possess wealth and use it to control a society's economic activity, considered collectively.
      ‘a conflict of interest between capital and labour’
      • ‘Can this international division of labor and its control by capital be the basis for a consistent classification?’
      • ‘The flip side is that some on the left have been disappointed by the lack of significant redistribution of wealth from capital to labour.’
      • ‘It is striving for world hegemony, i.e., the political and economic reorganization of the world in the interests of American capital.’
      • ‘As with labour, the role of capital in economic development can be understood in terms of both quantity and quality.’
      • ‘If you say you are from the trade union movement they believe that you ought to be looking after conditions at the workplace and leave economic decisions to capital.’
      • ‘In the final analysis, the source of all profit is the surplus value extracted from the employment of wage labour by capital.’
      • ‘The contest between capital and labour over the fruits of economically productive activity remains the front line struggle.’
      • ‘The harmony George discerned between the interests of labor and capital applied only under free competition.’
      • ‘The tragedy is the orientation will be in the interests of capital rather than working people.’
    3. 2.3with modifier A valuable resource of a particular kind.
      ‘there is insufficient investment in human capital’
      • ‘Consultancy fees can be regarded as investments in human capital and hence treated as capital expenditure, something the economists love.’
      • ‘Human capital is more important than physical capital.’
      • ‘One source said there was so much political capital invested in Atlantic Dawn that there was little left for the rest of the industry.’
      • ‘With justification, it wraps itself in the mantle of intellectual capital for the knowledge economy.’
      • ‘Deputy Agricultural and Land Affairs Minister Dirk du Toit called on farmers to invest in what he described as human resource capital.’
      • ‘China's political capital is best invested in other areas of structural reform.’
      • ‘He cited an estimate stating that human capital in the United States was worth five times as much as physical capital.’
      • ‘Both physical and human capital require social capital to generate changes in process and outcome and to offer value for money on the investment.’
      • ‘On a more itemized basis, knowledge capital is intellectual and human capital, customer and supplier capital.’
      • ‘The dominant society uses cultural capital to lure nondominant groups into being like them.’
      • ‘So far, the president has earned little return on the political capital that he has invested so far in his second term.’
      • ‘Firms invest intellectual and financial capital into establishing each customer relationship.’
      • ‘It made economic sense, and it made sense to invest social capital in youth, he said.’
  • 3A letter of the size and form used to begin sentences and names.

    ‘he wrote the name in capitals’
    • ‘The author of this new, third biography of the poet notes that Cummings signed his name in capitals in his personal correspondence, dealings with publishers and his diaries.’
    • ‘Or did they miss the English lesson where the teacher tells you not to put capitals and small letters in the middle of the same word.’
    • ‘Creditors should sign both forms, date them, and write their name in capitals in the appropriate places on the bottom of the forms.’
    • ‘But it wasn't Mr. Aldrich's block lettering in all capitals.’
    • ‘In tap, we have sentences and there is structure in the paragraph: All sentences begin with a capital letter; there are commas, exclamations.’
    • ‘The inscription was in pencil - big, bold capitals, lettered by a young child's hand: MOM and DAD.’
    • ‘There is also no differentiation as capital letters and small letters in Tamil.’
    • ‘He claimed the case was invalid because it spelled his name in all capital letters.’
    • ‘I stare at the signpost, seeing my name as white capital letters on a strip of green metal.’
    • ‘The bold black capitals make those letters seem separate from the words of which they are otherwise part.’
    • ‘The second rule: you should use a mix of at least three of these four things: small letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols.’
    • ‘Firstly, I'm not sure why we need to have his name in capital letters.’
    • ‘I'll head each chapter with the kid's name all in capitals.’
    • ‘Right at the top, plastered across the faces of Deneuve, Buster Keaton, Cary Grant and Al Pacino, is Ebert's name in capital letters.’
    • ‘At the end of the game some fans standing in a row behind one of the goals held up the letters of Ronaldo's name in big white capitals, just like the Hollywood sign.’
    • ‘A short, bald and rather round gent in his late fifties waits in the arrival lounge carrying a placard that reads my name in bold capitals.’
    • ‘From now, the organisation will be VisitScotland - two capital letters with the name joined together.’
    • ‘Nokia to Samsung, CDMA to GSM, they loved big names, capital letters, oh so cute combinations!’
    • ‘They signed my dad's menu - perhaps he signed theirs - and underneath each name he printed in his own careful capitals the names of their respective clubs.’
    • ‘Always distinguish the marks from surrounding printed text, for example, by putting the mark in all capital letters or using initial capitals and placing the mark within quotation marks.’
    capital letter, upper-case letter, block capital
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1attributive (of an offence or charge) liable to the death penalty.

    ‘murder is the only capital crime in the state’
    • ‘However I find this inconsistent with his claim to have feared being arrested for capital offences.’
    • ‘Defined as the unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by force and against her will, rape was a capital crime already in early Anglo-Saxon times.’
    • ‘The standard isn't any different for a petty theft arrest than it would for the arrest of a capital crime.’
    • ‘Look at the case recently mentioned in the Gleaner where some men were convicted of capital murder for a murder committed in the process of robbing a bank.’
    • ‘Nor is it lawful to accuse anyone of a capital offence.’
    • ‘He now faces capital charges of conspiring in the September 11 terrorist attacks.’
    • ‘But most defendants in capital crimes do not get decent lawyers: they get the inexperienced, the hopeless or the simply corrupt.’
    • ‘Witchcraft was a capital offence and so was being a Catholic.’
    • ‘The local prosecutor in turn pushed for capital murder charges.’
    • ‘Muhammad is being tried for a capital crime that carries the death penalty.’
    • ‘But in this instance, the Houston case involved theft, not capital murder.’
    • ‘The State of Texas has accordingly charged Yates with capital murder, a crime for which she may face the death penalty.’
    • ‘The same jury took less than four hours on Tuesday to convict her of capital murder, rejecting her insanity defence.’
    • ‘Whereas killing a man is a capital offence, murdering a woman is a lesser crime.’
    • ‘The police federation nationally has always been in favour of the death penalty for certain capital crimes.’
    • ‘We have a statute in North Carolina that says once convicted of capital murder, that the full files can be disclosed.’
    • ‘Does the US put a man's son to death because he has been convicted of a capital crime?’
    • ‘Not realising that he was charged with a capital offence, the undefended Downey pleaded guilty.’
    • ‘They need at least one of them, in my opinion, to convict in a capital murder case.’
    • ‘If you can't put together the how or the why of the murder, you are going to get a jury to make a leap of faith with you and convict somebody of capital murder.’
  • 2attributive (of a letter of the alphabet) large in size and of the form used to begin sentences and names.

    • ‘Assuming the piece is publishable, my name will be in there with a few names with a capital N.’
    • ‘In relation to a capital T, if it is just a nice, straight vertical line with a cross across the top, it is a sans serif font - a square block.’
    • ‘My loyalties, however, lie with one uncle only, and his name starts with a capital S.’
    upper-case, block
    View synonyms
  • 3dated, informal Excellent.

    ‘he's a really capital fellow’
    • ‘The first mate is a Pole called Conrad and is a capital chap.’
    • ‘Euan Semple, all-round capital fellow and big-time blogger at the BBC, got his gapingvoid t-shirt.’
    • ‘He sounds like a capital bloke.’

exclamation

British
dated, informal
  • Used to express approval, satisfaction, or delight.

    ‘That's splendid! Capital!’
    • ‘That's capital! I will certainly ride over to her.’
    • ‘That's capital! How glad I am you've come!’
    • ‘That's splendid! Capital!’

Phrases

  • make capital out of

    • Use to one's own advantage.

      ‘the opposition are seeking to make political capital out of the scandal’
      • ‘More recently, Japanese politicians have been making capital out of blaming the nation's woes on outsiders, particularly those from other Asian countries.’
      • ‘Attempts by the right to make capital out of the tragedy have created a powderkeg.’
      • ‘They are making capital out of innocent people.’
      • ‘Unable to erase the bad patch of history, the city has embraced it and is really making capital out of it in a big way.’
      • ‘Some people like to take advantage of my friends and make capital out of my personal influence to win over voters.’
      • ‘I hope no politician would make capital out of people's misery.’
      • ‘He's still trying to make capital out of that story, is he?’
      • ‘Religious and political groups are trying to make capital out of what is happening.’
      • ‘Having decided that the national interest meant they should not make capital out of the war, they are now at liberty to behave like an opposition, and to start stirring the pot.’
      • ‘The traditional community right over water is purposefully being eroded by those who would make capital out of this scarce natural resource.’
  • with a capital —

    • Used to give emphasis to the word or concept in question.

      ‘he's trouble with a capital T’
      • ‘Yes that is Fog with a capital F. Really nice thick Fog that made everything look eerie and spooky.’
      • ‘It was a debacle with a capital D writ large in ten foot illuminated letters.’
      • ‘Their music is in the realms of punk/emo/rock, and their songs are excellent with a capital E.’
      • ‘Pet Shop Boys - Please: Classic with a capital C, debut album from my other all time favourite band.’
      • ‘I know a winner when I see one, and baby, you're a winner with a capital W.’
      • ‘In the US, Ouija Board - owned by a Lord, trained by a toff and ridden by a champion - is popular with a capital P.’
      • ‘Guilty with a capital G. All involved on Alien Nation are sentenced to hard labor on Ceti Alpha 6.’
      • ‘Progressive and vaguely left-of-centre, it was never political with a capital P.’

Origin

Middle English (as an adjective in the sense ‘relating to the head or top’, later ‘standing at the head or beginning’): via Old French from Latin capitalis, from caput ‘head’.

Pronunciation

capital

/ˈkapɪt(ə)l/

Main definitions of capital in English

: capital1capital2

capital2

noun

Architecture
  • The distinct, typically broader section at the head of a pillar or column.

    ‘the pillars have moulded capitals’
    • ‘The capitals of the columns, entablature, cornice, and pediment are decorated with acanthus leaves and bouquets and geometrical mouldings in high Corinthian style.’
    • ‘Suspended from the architrave or from the capital of the column is a pinax with a picture of Herakles.’
    • ‘The throne is seen from directly in front, but the entablature and column capitals are seen from the left.’
    • ‘The hall has highly polished, lathe-turned stone pillars, with capitals supporting brackets intricately carved with figures from Hindu mythology.’
    • ‘On either side of the mahogany headboard and footboard are columns with brass capitals supporting pediments.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French capitel, from late Latin capitellum ‘little head’, diminutive of Latin caput.

Pronunciation

capital

/ˈkapɪt(ə)l/