1. the 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. capital letter.
4. the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
5. an accumulated stock of such wealth.
6. any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
a. assets remaining after deduction of liabilities; the net worth of a business.
b. the ownership interest in a business.
8. any source of profit, advantage, power, etc.; asset: His indefatigable drive is his greatest capital.
9. capitalists as a group or class (distinguished from labor): High taxation has reduced the spending power of capital.
10. pertaining to financial capital: capital stock.
11. principal; highly important: This guide offers suggestions of capital interest to travelers.
12. chief, especially as being the official seat of government of a country, state, etc.: the capital city of France.
13. excellent or first-rate: a capital hotel; a capital fellow.
14. capital letter.
15. involving the loss of life: capital punishment.
16. punishable by death: a capital crime; a capital offender.
17. fatal; extremely serious: a capital error.
Can be confused
Capitol (see Usage note)
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4. principal, investment, assets, stock.
11. 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. trivial, minor.
The noun capital 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.
Origin: 1175-1225; Middle English; (adj.) (< Anglo-French) < Latin capitālis of the head (capit-, stem of caput head, + -ālis -al); (noun) < Medieval Latin capitāle wealth, noun use of neuter of capitālis (adj.)
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