cap·​i·​tal·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌka-pə-tə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce capitalization (audio) , ˌkap-tə- \

Definition of capitalization

1a : the act or process of capitalizing
b : a sum resulting from a process of capitalizing
c : the total liabilities of a business including both ownership capital and borrowed capital
d : the total par value or the stated value of no-par issues of authorized stock
2 : the use of a capital letter in writing or printing

Examples of capitalization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tesla’s addition could also drive moves in smaller-capitalization stocks that will be sold to make room for it, traders said. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Tesla Joins the S&P 500: Five Things to Watch," 18 Dec. 2020 The Russell 2000 — an index of smaller capitalization companies heavily influenced by the shorter-term outlook for the U.S. economy — is up more than 20 percent this month alone. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Markets Throw a Welcome Party of Sorts for Biden," 24 Nov. 2020 The latest surge has driven Nio’s market value to $53.4 billion, according to Bloomberg data, while GM’s current capitalization stands at $51.6 billion. Esha Dey,, "Nio Tops GM in Market Value, Buoyed by Bets on Electric Future," 5 Nov. 2020 New rules of capitalization within hours dictate that some words are now proper nouns; other similar terms, not so much. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Vote No on 1984," 2 Nov. 2020 Market capitalization based on current share price of the acquiring SPAC. Eliot Brown, WSJ, "Electric-Vehicle Startups Are Wall Street’s Hot New Thing. No Revenue? No Problem.," 21 Oct. 2020 Junior’s various social media feeds are hugely influential and widely followed, defined by a hectoring and ultra-fervid tone that’s pure Trump, right down to his idiosyncratic punctuation and bizarre capitalization choices. David Roth, The New Republic, "How Don Jr. Became the Future of Trumpism," 27 Oct. 2020 AngloGold, with a stock market capitalization of $11 billion, has large mines in Africa, Australia and South America. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Notion of gold rush in northern Minnesota hits setback," 22 Oct. 2020 Its stock market capitalization of about $18 billion compares with $41 billion for UBS. Matthew Miller,, "Deutsche Bank CEO Focused on Strategy But Won’t Rule Out M&A," 6 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capitalization.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capitalization

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for capitalization

Time Traveler

The first known use of capitalization was in 1852

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Statistics for capitalization

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capitalization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for capitalization


cap·​i·​tal·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌka-pət-ᵊl-ə-ˈzā-shən, -ᵊl-ī- How to pronounce capitalization (audio) \

Legal Definition of capitalization

1 : the act or process of capitalizing capitalization of earnings
2 : a sum resulting from a process of capitalizing especially : paid-in capital at capital inadequate capitalization
3 : total capital liabilities of a business including both equity capital and debt capital

Note: Equity capital is considered a liability because the investors may recall some or all of it (as by redeeming stock). Inadequate capitalization of a business is considered by courts in cases dealing with equitable subordination of creditors or piercing the corporate veil.

4 : the total par value or the stated value of no-par issues of authorized capital stock

More from Merriam-Webster on capitalization

Nglish: Translation of capitalization for Spanish Speakers

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