Meaning of CAPITAL in English


I. ˈkapəd. ə l, -p(ə)t ə l adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin capitalis, from capit-, caput head — more at head

1. obsolete : of or relating to the head

his capital bruise — John Milton


a. archaic : deadly , fatal

an inexorable capital enemy

a plague capital to many

b. : punishable by death : involving execution

a capital crime

a capital verdict

put to death a capital offender — John Milton

c. : involving or punishable by loss of legal personality

d. : most serious : fatally detrimental : egregious

a capital error

the capital folly of cutting herself off from her family — Arnold Bennett


a. obsolete : standing at the beginning of a page, passage, or line

the illumination of the capital words in the manuscript

b. of a letter : comparatively large, clear, or elegant in form and in print like the majuscule letters of ancient inscriptions and consequently regarded as especially fit for use in initial position : of or conforming to the series A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c, etc.


a. archaic : having authority or preeminence : most important : chief

the capital lords of the realm

— used of a person

b. : above comparable matters in importance, significance, worth, or influence : prominent , predominant , major , main

whatever is capital and essential in Christianity should be clearly and strenuously affirmed — Isaac Taylor

the capital importance of criticism in the work of creation itself — T.S.Eliot

5. of a city : most important ; specifically : being the seat of government

London is the capital city of England


[ capital (II) ]

a. : consisting of, serving as, or intended as capital

b. : accruing to or from capital

c. : carried on or conducted by means of capital

d. : of or having to do with capital

7. : highly meritorious : most enjoyable : excellent , first-rate

a capital essay, still diverting after three quarters of a century — H.L.Mencken

capital dinners they give at those crack hotels — George Meredith

Synonyms: see chief

- with a capital

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: French or Italian; French, from Italian capitale, from capitale, adjective, principal, from Latin capitalis


a. or capital goods or capital account : a stock of accumulated goods especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period

b. : the value of these accumulated goods

c. or capital goods : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods : facilities or goods utilized as factors of production

capital is not money but means of production — Bertrand Russell

the employer who could set capital and land and labor to work — G.B.Shaw

d. : any accumulated factors of production capable of being owned

working capital in the form of plow beasts, heavy plows, and slaves — F.M.Stenton

e. : the proprietary claim in a business

f. : the principal of a loan as contrasted with interest

g. : net assets : excess of assets over liabilities

h. : capital stock

i. : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income

a thousand acres of haying land meant a capital as reliable as government bonds — Margaret Deland

j. : accumulated assets, resources, sources of strength, or advantages utilized to aid in accomplishing an end or furthering a pursuit

the accumulated scientific and mathematical capital on which our technology flourishes — W.F.Albright

k. : available money

walking into Hollisburg on a capital of twenty cents — Elmer Davis

l. : persons holding capital : investors, potential or actual

troubled international conditions have made capital reluctant to invest heavily — American Guide Series: Arkansas

m. : asset, gain, or profit through utilization of an adventitious characteristic or development

to make poetic capital out of the suffering of others — C.D.Lewis

a keen and wary ruler who made capital of his weakness — Agnes Repplier


[ capital (I) ]

a. : a capital letter ; especially : an intial capital letter

b. : a letter belonging to a style of alphabet modeled upon and departing in form relatively little from the style customarily used in inscriptions — see roman capital , rustic capital , square capitals; compare cursive , half uncial , minuscule , uncial


[ capital (I) ]

a. : the chief city of a country or region

Scranton … capital of the anthracite basin — American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

b. : a city serving as a seat for the government of a larger area or as a seat of a government branch (as of sovereign, legislature, or administration)

Washington is the capital of the U.S.

c. : a city preeminent or dominant in some special activity — used with a specifying attributive

had once been considered the world's diamond capital

Paris reigned as the fashion capital of the world

San Antonio, a veritable cattle capital — American Guide Series: Texas

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English capitale, by folk etymology (influence of capital ) (I) from Old North French capitel, from Late Latin capitellum small head, top of column, diminutive of Latin capit-, caput head — more at head

1. : the head or uppermost member of a column or pilaster crowning the shaft and taking the weight of the entablature — see column illustration

2. : the head or cap especially of a chimney or a crucible

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.