cap·i·tal /ˈkæpətḷ, ˈkæptḷ/
1. Arch. The head or uppermost member of a column, pilaster, etc. It consists generally of three parts, abacus, bell (or vase), and necking. See these terms, and Column.
2. Geog. The seat of government; the chief city or town in a country; a metropolis. “A busy and splendid capital”
3. Money, property, or stock employed in trade, manufactures, etc.; the sum invested or lent, as distinguished from the income or interest. See Capital stock, under Capital, a.
4. Polit. Econ. That portion of the produce of industry, which may be directly employed either to support human beings or to assist in production.
Note: ☞ When wealth is used to assist production it is called capital. The capital of a civilized community includes fixed capital (i.e. buildings, machines, and roads used in the course of production and exchange) and circulating capital (i.e., food, fuel, money, etc., spent in the course of production and exchange).
5. Anything which can be used to increase one's power or influence.
He tried to make capital out of his rival's discomfiture. --London Times.
6. Fort. An imaginary line dividing a bastion, ravelin, or other work, into two equal parts.
7. A chapter, or section, of a book. [Obs.]
Holy St. Bernard hath said in the 59th capital. --Sir W. Scott.
8. Print. See Capital letter, under Capital, a.
Active capital. See under Active,
Small capital Print., a small capital letter; informally referred to (in the plural) as small caps; as, the technical terms are listed in small caps. See under Capital, a.
To live on one's capital, to consume one's capital without producing or accumulating anything to replace it.
1. Of or pertaining to the head. [Obs.]
Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal pain. --Milton.
2. Having reference to, or involving, the forfeiture of the head or life; affecting life; punishable with death; as, capital trials; capital punishment.
Many crimes that are capital among us. --Swift.
To put to death a capital offender. --Milton.
3. First in importance; chief; principal.
A capital article in religion --Atterbury.
Whatever is capital and essential in Christianity. --I. Taylor.
4. Chief, in a political sense, as being the seat of the general government of a state or nation; as, Washington and Paris are capital cities.
5. Of first rate quality; excellent; as, a capital speech or song. [Colloq.]
Small capital letters have the form of capital letters and height of the body of the lower-case letters.
Capital stock, money, property, or stock invested in any business, or the enterprise of any corporation or institution.
Syn: -- Chief; leading; controlling; prominent.
adj 1: first-rate; "a capital fellow"; "a capital idea"
2: punishable by death; "a capital offense"
3: of primary important; "our capital concern was to avoid
4: uppercase; "capital A"; "great A"; "many medieval
manuscripts are in majuscule script" [syn: great, majuscule]
n 1: assets available for use in the production of further assets
[syn: working capital]
2: wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or
business and human resources of economic value
3: a seat of government
4: 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" [syn: capital letter, upper
case, upper-case letter, majuscule] [ant: small
5: a book written by Karl Marx (1867) describing his economic
theories [syn: Das Kapital]
6: the upper part of a column that supports the entablature
[syn: chapiter, cap]