Capital Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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Capital is an exciting concept, referring to many different but related things. We use the word “capital” in one context when we talk about money and in another when we talk about typography. Where did this term originate? What does it mean today? 

Whether you’re referencing a capital letter, financial capital, or capital crime, it’s essential to know what the word means in its specific context. We’ll explore these questions and more below to help you better understand the concept of capital and all of the different meanings that it can have. 

Where Did the Word Capital Originate? 

Like many other words in the English language, the word capital (ˈkæpɪt ə l, cap-i-tal) came from the Latin language. Initially, the term has its origins in the Latin Caput, the Latin capitālis, and the Late Latin capitellum. As time went on, the word went through other languages like Old French and Middle English until it became the word that we’re familiar with today. These words all communicated the idea of a “head” as the leader of an organization. 

People used capital to describe many different words in different contexts, from capital letters to financial capital to capital punishment. These describe something primary in its definitions and meanings and help communicate a better understanding of how something functions. 

If you were to look in a thesaurus for word lists of synonyms for the word capital, you would likely find words including: 

  • Liabilities
  • Current assets
  • Amount of money
  • First-rate
  • Majuscule
  • Pilaster
  • Chapiter
  • Caput Head
  • Net Worth
  • Primary

What Does Capital Mean in Typography? 

Capital letters are the letters in a piece of writing that start sentences. Lower-case letters are the letters in a bit of writing that don’t start sentences. Capital letters are also called “upper-case” letters, and lower-case letters are called “lower-case” letters.

When working with typography in writing, you may have to use capital letters to differentiate between proper nouns and common nouns—this is especially important if you use more than one of the same letters in one word! 

For instance, look at the sentence, “I like dogs.” The word dogs could be a proper noun if referring to your pet dog’s name. However, it is a common noun if it relates to all dogs (not just your pet).

Capitalization also helps readers understand what they are reading more quickly because they know where each word starts and ends. Letters are also referred to like characters in typography. Words are composed of individual letters; in this context, “capital” refers to upper-case letters, and “lower” refers to lower-case letters.

What Does Capital Mean in Finance? 

Capital is the amount of money, property, or other resources invested in a business. It can also be the sum of an individual’s assets and liabilities. It also refers to the money or property used to start or operate a business, such as machinery and equipment. 

Working capital is often referred to as the means of production because it provides tools for getting things done. In other words, capital can be considered a tool that allows you to do something useful with your time (such as make more money).

These kinds of capital assets and capital expenditures and things that people in finance are often deeply concerned about. Working on venture capital projects to increase a person’s capital gains is a prominent activity when someone is trying to increase their wealth. 

Other Definitions of the Word Capital

There are many other definitions of capital in the world today; here are some of the most prominent ones that you might come across: 

  • A state capital is a primary city where the official seat of government operates. For example, the political capital of the USA is Washington D.C. The capital city is typically the most politically important city in a state, province, or country. 
  • Capital punishment is the death penalty for committing a capital offense (or capital offense). When one person kills another person, the punishment is often death. 
  • Human capital is a person who works as an asset to a business and is a high priority. They have often received a lot of development and investment and are thereby very valuable in the context of work. 

Example Sentences Using the Word Capital

One of the best ways to learn how to use a word properly is by seeing it used in real-world sentences and conversations. Here is everything you need to know about how to use it in the proper contexts, so you can start using it in a sentence: 

The company’s capital stock grew in value as the company expanded over the years. 

The capital idea we had involved balloons, cereal, and my idioms textbook. 

Even though it’s not even the capital of its state, some people call New York the world’s capital. 

The company’s equity capital shot through the ceiling when the new CEO came in. 

On my trip to the capital, I learned about the antonyms for the word of the day. 

The capital concern on everyone’s mind was the recent events in the capitol building. 


In the world of today, language is power. The ability to communicate effectively with others is paramount for both professional and personal success. Whether you’re a business mogul or simply a professional searching for a new job, knowing how to communicate well can make all the difference in your life. 

Blog posts like the above can help you become a more effective communicator, giving you the chance to accomplish your goals — and that’s something you should never take for granted. 

To become the best communicator possible, check out our blog at The Word Counter


Capital Definition & Meaning |

Capital definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Capital – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |