capital

Capital is the total amount of money (and things with a monetary value, like houses or cars) that a person or institution owns. A bank's capital might be in the billions, while your capital barely makes it into the hundreds.

Capital comes from the Latin capitalis, or "head," which some would argue is the command center of your body. Because your head is so important, capital, as a noun and as an adjective, has come to refer to the primary or chief example of something — whether it's money, a letter, a crime, or the national or state seat of a government. It can be easily confused with the American word capitol, which refers to the buildings where government activities take place.

Primary Meanings of capital

1.
nadj
one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis
uppercase
2.
n
wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or business and human resources of economic value
3.
n
a seat of government
4.
adj
first-rate
5.
n
the upper part of a column that supports the entablature
Full Definitions of capital
1

n one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis

“printers once kept the type for capitals and for small letters in separate cases”
capitals were kept in the upper half of the type case and so became known as upper-case letters”
Synonyms:
capital letter, majuscule, upper-case letter, uppercase
Antonyms:
lower-case letter, lowercase, miniscule, minuscule, small letter
the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case
Types:
small cap, small capital
a character having the form of an upper-case letter but the same height as lower-case letters
Type of:
character, grapheme, graphic symbol
a written symbol that is used to represent speech

adj uppercase

capital A”
Synonyms:
great, majuscule
uppercase
relating to capital letters which were kept in the top half of a compositor's type case
2

n wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or business and human resources of economic value

Types:
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
endowment, endowment fund
the capital that provides income for an institution
means, substance
considerable capital (wealth or income)
corpus, principal, principal sum
capital as contrasted with the income derived from it
patrimony
a church endowment
chantry
an endowment for the singing of Masses
pocketbook
your personal financial means
wherewithal
the necessary means (especially financial means)
Type of:
assets
anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person or company

n assets available for use in the production of further assets

Synonyms:
working capital
Types:
show 17 types...
hide 17 types...
stock
the capital raised by a corporation through the issue of shares entitling holders to an ownership interest (equity)
risk capital, venture capital
wealth available for investment in new or speculative enterprises
operating capital
capital available for the operations of a firm (e.g. manufacturing or transportation) as distinct from financial transactions and long-term improvements
seed money
capital needed to set up a new business or enterprise
common shares, common stock, ordinary shares
stock other than preferred stock; entitles the owner to a share of the corporation's profits and a share of the voting power in shareholder elections
no-par stock, no-par-value stock
stock with no par value specified in the corporate charter or on the stock certificate
preference shares, preferred shares, preferred stock
stock whose holders are guaranteed priority in the payment of dividends but whose holders have no voting rights
float
the number of shares outstanding and available for trading by the public
common stock equivalent
preferred stock or convertible bonds or warrants that can be converted into common stock
control stock
shares owned by shareholders who have a controlling interest
growth stock
stock of a corporation that has had faster than average gains in earnings and is expected to continue to
hot issue, hot stock
newly issued stock that is in great public demand
authorized shares, authorized stock, capital stock
the maximum number of shares authorized under the terms of a corporation's articles of incorporation
quarter stock
stock with a par value of $25/share
reacquired stock, treasury shares, treasury stock
stock that has been bought back by the issuing corporation and is available for retirement or resale; it is issued but not outstanding; it cannot vote and pays no dividends
voting stock
shares in a corporation that entitle the shareholder to voting and proxy rights
watered stock
stock representing ownership of overvalued assets; stock of a corporation whose total worth is less than its invested capital
Type of:
assets
anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person or company
3

n a seat of government

Examples:
show 6 examples...
hide 6 examples...
Camelot
(Arthurian legend) the capital of King Arthur's kingdom; according to the legend, truth and goodness and beauty reigned there
George Town
the capital of the Cayman Islands
capital of Barbados
capital of Barbados; a port city on the southwestern coast of Barbados
capital of Northern Ireland
capital and largest city of Northern Ireland; the center of Protestantism in Northern Ireland
Edinburgh
the capital of Scotland; located in the Lothian Region on the south side of the Firth of Forth
Cardiff
the capital and largest city of Wales
Types:
national capital
the capital city of a nation
provincial capital
the capital city of a province
state capital
the capital city of a political subdivision of a country
Type of:
seat
a center of authority (as a city from which authority is exercised)

n a center that is associated more than any other with some activity or product

“the crime capital of Italy”
“the drug capital of Columbia”
Type of:
center, centre
a place where some particular activity is concentrated
4

adj first-rate

“a capital fellow”
“a capital idea”
Synonyms:
superior
of high or superior quality or performance

adj of primary importance

“our capital concern was to avoid defeat”
Synonyms:
primary
of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary
5

n the upper part of a column that supports the entablature

Synonyms:
cap, chapiter
Type of:
top
the upper part of anything

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.