See also: capitâl

English edit

 
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A Doric capital
 
An Ionic capital
 
A Corinthian capital
 
A Composite capital

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English capital, borrowed from Latin capitālis (of the head) (in sense “head of cattle”), from caput (head) (English cap). Use in trade and finance originated in Medieval economies when a common but expensive transaction involved trading heads of cattle.

Compare chattel and kith and kine (all one’s possessions), which also use “cow” to mean “property”.

Doublet of cattle and chattel.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

capital (countable and uncountable, plural capitals)

  1. (uncountable, economics) Already-produced durable goods available for use as a factor of production, such as steam shovels (equipment) and office buildings (structures).
  2. (uncountable, business, finance, insurance) Money and wealth. The means to acquire goods and services, especially in a non-barter system.
    He does not have enough capital to start a business.
  3. (countable) A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.
    • 1995, Linda Fang, The Chʻi-lin Purse: A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories[1], New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, →OL, page 54:
      Lin Hsiang-ju immediately said to the king of Ch’in, “If Ta-wang wants fifteen cities from Chao, the king of Chao should also get something in return. What about giving him Hsien-yang as a gift?’ Hsien-yang was the capital of Ch’in.
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52:
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. []   But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that something extraordinary is happening: China is creating a shipping hub just 200 miles from India’s southern tip.
    Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States of America.
    The Welsh government claims that Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital.
  4. (countable) The most important city in the field specified.
    • 2010 September, Charlie Brennan, "Active Athletes", St. Louis magazine, ISSN 1090-5723, volume 16, issue 9, page 83:
      Hollywood is the film capital, New York the theater capital, Las Vegas the gambling capital.
  5. (countable) An uppercase letter.
  6. (countable, architecture) The uppermost part of a column.
  7. (uncountable) Knowledge; awareness; proficiency.
    Interpreters need a good amount of cultural capital in order to function efficiently in the profession.
  8. (countable, by extension) The chief or most important thing.

Usage notes edit

The homophone capitol refers only to a building, usually one that houses the legislative branch of a government, and often one located in a capital city.

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective edit

capital (not comparable)

  1. Of prime importance.
    • 1708, Francis Atterbury, Fourteen Sermons Preach'd on Several Occasions, Preface:
      a capital article in religion
    • 1852, Isaac Taylor, Saturday Evening:
      whatever is capital and essential in Christianity
  2. Chief, in a political sense, as being the seat of the general government of a state or nation.
    London and Paris are capital cities.
  3. (comparable, UK, dated) Excellent.
    That is a capital idea!
    • 1878, Henry James, An International Episode[2]:
      “He is a capital fellow,” the Englishman in London had said, “and he has got an awfully pretty wife. []
    • 1887, Harriet W. Daly, Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia, page 166:
      Sometimes he laughed heartily as if he heard some capital joke; by degrees this lessened, and he spoke rapidly, but in very low tones.
  4. (crime) Punishable by, or involving punishment by, death.
    • 1709, [Jonathan Swift], A Project for the Advancement of Religion, and the Reformation of Manners. [], London: [] Benj[amin] Tooke, [], →OCLC, pages 53–54:
      Neither could the Legiſlature in any thing more conſult the Publick Good, than by providing ſome effectual Remedy againſt this Evil, which in ſeveral Caſes deſerves greater Puniſhment than many Crimes that are capital among us.
    • 1649, J[ohn] Milton, ΕΙΚΟΝΟΚΛΆΣΤΗΣ [Eikonoklástēs] [], London: [] Matthew Simmons, [], →OCLC:
      to put to death a capital offender
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin, published 2003, page 517:
      Some 1,600 priests were deported, for example, while the total number of capital victims of the military commissions down to 1799 was only around 150.
  5. Uppercase.
    Antonym: lower-case
    One begins a sentence with a capital letter.
    1. used to emphasise greatness or absoluteness
      You're a genius with a capital G!
      He's dead with a capital D!
      • 2021 February 9, Christina Newland, “Is Tom Hanks part of a dying breed of genuine movie stars?”, in BBC[3]:
        In recent years, much has been made of the lack of new heavyweight male star power in mainstream Hollywood. Talented performers may be everywhere, but Movie Stars, capital M, capital S, are something else.
  6. Of or relating to the head.

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

References edit

Anagrams edit

Asturian edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin capitālis.

Adjective edit

capital (epicene, plural capitales)

  1. capital

Noun edit

capital f (plural capitales)

  1. capital city (city designated as seat of government)

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitales)

  1. capital (money)

Catalan edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin capitālis.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

capital m or f (masculine and feminine plural capitals)

  1. capital

Derived terms edit

Noun edit

capital f (plural capitals)

  1. capital (city)

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitals)

  1. capital (finance)

Derived terms edit

Further reading edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin capitālis. Doublet of cheptel.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitaux)

  1. capital (money and wealth)

Adjective edit

capital (feminine capitale, masculine plural capitaux, feminine plural capitales)

  1. capital (important)
    La peine capitale est abolie en France depuis les années 1980.
    Capital punishment was abolished in France in the 1980s.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Latin edit

Etymology edit

Substantive form of capitālis (mortal, relating to the head).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

capital n (genitive capitālis); third declension

  1. a capital offence; a crime punishable by death, civil death, or exile
    capital facereto commit a capital offence

Declension edit

Third-declension noun (neuter, “pure” i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative capital capitālia
Genitive capitālis capitālium
Dative capitālī capitālibus
Accusative capital capitālia
Ablative capitālī capitālibus
Vocative capital capitālia

References edit

  • capital”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • capital”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin capitālis. Doublet of cabedal and caudal.

Pronunciation edit

 

  • Rhymes: -al, -aw
  • Hyphenation: ca‧pi‧tal

Noun edit

capital f (plural capitais)

  1. (geopolitics) capital; capital city (place where the seat of a government is located)
  2. (figurative) capital (the most important place associated with something)

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitais)

  1. (finances) capital (money that can be used to acquire goods and services)
  2. (figurative) anything of prime importance

Derived terms edit

Adjective edit

capital m or f (plural capitais)

  1. capital (of prime importance)
  2. (law) capital (involving punishment by death)
  3. (rare, anatomy) capital (relating to the head)

Related terms edit

Romanian edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French capital, Latin capitālis.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ka.piˈtal/
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Hyphenation: ca‧pi‧tal

Noun edit

capital n (plural capitaluri)

  1. (economics, business) capital

Declension edit

Adjective edit

capital m or n (feminine singular capitală, masculine plural capitali, feminine and neuter plural capitale)

  1. capital, important

Declension edit

Romansch edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Latin capitālis, from caput (head).

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitals)

  1. (Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran) capital

Related terms edit

Spanish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin capitālis. Doublet of caudal.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /kapiˈtal/ [ka.piˈt̪al]
  • Audio (Colombia):(file)
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Syllabification: ca‧pi‧tal

Adjective edit

capital m or f (masculine and feminine plural capitales)

  1. capital (important)
    Es asunto de capital importancia.
    This is a very important matter.
  2. capital (relating to a death sentence)
    Lo condenaron a la pena capital.
    He was sentenced to the death penalty.

Derived terms edit

Noun edit

capital m (plural capitales)

  1. (finance) capital

Derived terms edit

Noun edit

capital f (plural capitales)

  1. capital (city)

Further reading edit