Etymology: Middle English capitale, from Anglo-French capital, capitel, from Late Latin capitellum small head, top of column, diminutive of Latin capit-, caput head — more at head
Date: 13th century
the uppermost member of a column or pilaster crowning the shaft and taking the weight of the entablature — see column illustration
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin capitalis, from capit-, caput
Date: 14th century
1. of a letter of or conforming to the series A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c, etc.
a. punishable by death <a capital crime> b. involving execution <capital punishment> c. most serious <a capital error> 3. a. chief in importance or influence <capital ships> <the capital importance of criticism in the work of creation itself — T. S. Eliot> b. being the seat of government 4. of or relating to capital; especially relating to or being assets that add to the long-term net worth of a corporation <capital improvements> 5. excellent <a capital book> III. noun Etymology: French or Italian; French, from Italian capitale, from capitale, adjective, chief, principal, from Latin capitalis Date: circa 1639 1. a. (1) a stock of accumulated goods especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period; also the value of these accumulated goods (2) accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income b. (1) net worth (2) stock 7c(1) c. persons holding capital d. advantage, gain <make capital of the situation> e. a store of useful assets or advantages <wasted their political capital on an unpopular cause> <wrote from the capital of his emotionally desolate boyhood — E. L. Doctorow> 2. [capital (II)] a. a capital letter; especially an initial capital letter b. a letter belonging to a style of alphabet modeled on the style customarily used in inscriptions 3. [capital (II)] a. a city serving as a seat of government b. a city preeminent in some special activity <the fashion capital>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.