Hypertext Webster Gateway: "capital"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Capital \Cap"i*tal\, a. [F. capital, L. capitalis capital (in
senses 1 & 2), fr. caput head. See {Chief}, and cf.
{Capital}, n.]
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.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Capital \Cap"i*tal\, n. [Cf. L. capitellum and Capitulum, a
small head, the head, top, or capital of a column, dim. of
caput head; F. chapiteau, OF. capitel. See {Chief}, and cf.
{Cattle}, {Chattel}, {Chapiter}, {Chapter}.]
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

2. [Cf. F. capilate, fem., sc. ville.] (Geog.) The seat of
government; the chief city or town in a country; a
metropolis. ``A busy and splendid capital'' --Macauly.

3. [Cf. F. capital.] 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. --M'Culloch.

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) amd
circulating capital (i.e., food, fuel, money, etc.,
spent in the course of production and exchange). --T.

5. Anything which can be used to increase one's power or

He tried to make capital out of his rival's
discomfiture. --London

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.

8. (Print.) See {Capital letter}, under {Capital}, a.

{Active capital}. See under {Active},

{Small capital} (Print.), a small capital letter. See under
{Capital}, a.

{To live on one's capital}, to consume one's capital without
producing or accumulating anything to replace it.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: (British) 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 proper names and sometimes for emphasis;
(printers once kept type for capitals and 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: {upper case}, {upper-case letter}] [ant: {small
5: a book written by Karl Marx (1867) describing his economic
theories [syn: {Das Kapital}, {Capital}]
6: the upper part of a column that supports the entablature
[syn: {chapiter}, {cap}]

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