WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
cap•i•tal1 /ˈkæpɪtəl/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. Government the city that is the official center of government of a country, etc.:[countable]Sacramento, not Los Angeles, is the capital of California.
  2. [countable] a city thought of as being of special importance in some field of activity: Hollywood, the entertainment capital.
  3. Printing capital letter.
  4. Business the wealth owned or used in business by an individual, etc.:[uncountable]The companies needed capital for investment.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. Businessof or relating to financial capital:capital investment.
  2. principal;
    primary: a subject of capital concern.
  3. Governmentchief, esp. as being the center of government: a capital city.
  4. excellent;
    first-rate: a capital hotel.
  5. Printingof or indicating a capital letter;
    uppercase:Your name begins with capital B.
  6. involving the loss of life: capital punishment (= punishment by death).
  7. to be punished by death: a capital crime (= a crime for which the punishment is death).

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
cap•i•tal1  (kapi tl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Governmentthe city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.:Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
  2. a city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity:New York is the dance capital of the world.
  3. PrintingSee  capital letter. 
  4. Businessthe wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
  5. Businessan accumulated stock of such wealth.
  6. Businessany form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
  7. Business[Accountableing.]
    • assets remaining after deduction of liabilities;
      the net worth of a business.
    • the ownership interest in a business.
  8. Businessany source of profit, advantage, power, etc.;
    asset:His indefatigable drive is his greatest capital.
  9. Businesscapitalists as a group or class (distinguished from labor):High taxation has reduced the spending power of capital.

  1. Businesspertaining to financial capital:capital stock.
  2. principal;
    highly important:This guide offers suggestions of capital interest to travelers.
  3. Governmentchief, esp. as being the official seat of government of a country, state, etc.:the capital city of France.
  4. excellent or first-rate:a capital hotel; a capital fellow.
  5. PrintingSee  capital letter. 
  6. involving the loss of life:capital punishment.
  7. punishable by death:a capital crime; a capital offender.
  8. fatal;
    extremely serious:a capital error.
capi•tal•ness, n. 
  • Medieval Latin capitāle wealth, noun, nominal use of neuter of capitālis (adjective, adjectival)
  • Latin capitālis of the head (capit-, stem of caput head, + -ālis -al1); (noun, nominal)
  • Anglo-French)
  • 1175–1225; Middle English; (adjective, adjectival) (
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged principal, investment, assets, stock.
    • 11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged prime, primary, first. The adjectives
      capital, chief, major, principal apply to a main or leading representative of a kind.
      Capital may mean larger or more prominent;
      it may also suggest preeminence or excellence:capital letter, idea, virtue,etc.
      Chief means leading, highest in office or power:the chief clerk.Major may refer to greatness of importance, number, or quantity:a major operation, the major part of a population.Principal refers to most distinguished, influential, or foremost:principal officer.
    • 11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged trivial, minor.
    The noun capital1 refers to a city or town that is the seat of government;
    to a capital letter as opposed to a lowercase letter;
    and to wealth or resources. The noun Capitol refers primarily to the building in Washington, D.C., in which Congress sits or to similar buildings used by state legislatures.

cap•i•tal2  (kapi tl),USA pronunciation n. [Archit.]
  1. Architecturethe distinctively treated upper end of a column, pier, or the like.
  • Middle English capitale head (noun, nominal use of neuter of Latin adjective, adjectival) for Latin capitellum, equivalent. to capit- (stem of caput) head + -ellum diminutive suffix 1250–1300

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

capital /ˈkæpɪtəl/ n
  1. the seat of government of a country or other political unit
  2. (as modifier): a capital city
  3. material wealth owned by an individual or business enterprise
  4. wealth available for or capable of use in the production of further wealth, as by industrial investment
  5. make capital of, make capital out ofto get advantage from
  6. (sometimes capital) the capitalist class or their interests: capital versus labour
  7. the ownership interests of a business as represented by the excess of assets over liabilities
  8. the nominal value of the authorized or issued shares
  9. (as modifier): capital issues
  10. any assets or resources, esp when used to gain profit or advantage
  11. a capital letter
    Abbreviation: cap., cap
  12. (as modifier): capital B
  1. (prenominal) involving or punishable by death: a capital offence
  2. very serious; fatal: a capital error
  3. primary, chief, or principal: our capital concern is that everyone be fed
  4. 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
    See also upper case
  5. chiefly Brit excellent; first-rate: a capital idea
Etymology: 13th Century: from Latin capitālis (adj) concerning the head, chief, from caput head; compare Medieval Latin capitāle (n) wealth, from capitālis (adj)
capital /ˈkæpɪtəl/ n
  1. the upper part of a column or pier that supports the entablature
    Also called: chapiter, cap
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French capitel, from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput head

'capital' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [foreign, private, domestic] capital, the capital city of [England], [working, equity, liquid, non-liquid] capital, more...

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