noun cap·i·tol \ˈka-pə-təl, ˈkap-təl\

: the building in which the people who make the laws of a U.S. state meet

the Capitol : the building in which the U.S. Congress meets in Washington, D.C.

Full Definition of CAPITOL

a :  a building in which a state legislative body meets
b :  a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out
capitalized :  the building in which the United States Congress meets at Washington

Examples of CAPITOL

  1. the dome of the state capitol
  2. <the legislators were called to the capitol for an emergency session>

Origin of CAPITOL

Latin Capitolium, temple of Jupiter at Rome on the Capitoline hill
First Known Use: 1679

Related to CAPITOL

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
CAPITOL Defined for Kids


noun cap·i·tol \ˈka-pə-təl, ˈkap-təl\

Definition of CAPITOL for Kids

:  the building in which a state legislature meets
cap :  the building in Washington, D.C., in which the United States Congress meets

Word History of CAPITOL

The word capitol is pronounced the same as capital, and the two words seem to have linked meanings: the building called the Capitol is located in our nation's capital. Curiously, their origins are quite different, though both come from Latin. Capital is from capitalis, which means literally of the head and in later Latin came to mean chief or principal. Capitol is from the Capitolium, a hill at the center of ancient Rome that held a fortress and an important temple to the god Jupiter.


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