capitalize

verb

cap·​i·​tal·​ize ˈka-pə-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce capitalize (audio)
ˈkap-tə-
capitalized; capitalizing

transitive verb

1
: to write or print with an initial capital or in capitals
Capitalize the names of cities and states.
2
a
: to convert into capital
capitalize the company's reserve fund
b
: to treat as an amortizable investment in long-term capital assets rather than as an ordinary operating expense to be charged against revenue for the period in which it is incurred
capitalize development costs
3
a
: to compute the present value of (an income extended over a period of time)
b
: to convert (a periodic payment) into an equivalent capital sum
capitalized annuities
4
: to supply capital for

intransitive verb

: to gain by turning something to advantage
capitalize on an opponent's mistake

Examples of capitalize in a Sentence

Remember to capitalize the I in Internet. Capitalize the first word of your sentence. She rarely capitalizes her name when she signs her e-mails. The venture was capitalized with a loan of one million dollars. You can capitalize your investment at any time.
Recent Examples on the Web The Padres’ starter, Michael King, was equally ineffective, issuing seven walks over four innings, but the Giants failed to capitalize. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 31 Mar. 2024 Go too soon and executives might be criticized for trying to capitalize and exploit a tragedy. Edward Segal, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The Texans, however, capitalized in overtime with a game winning goal. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 27 Mar. 2024 Just tossed out into the world to capitalize off the buzz. Alphonse Pierre, Pitchfork, 22 Mar. 2024 Weighing the Costs After Michigan began subsidizing the film industry, some localities tried to capitalize. Christopher Kuo, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2024 One of the biggest differences was Resurrection Christian’s inability to take care of the ball and Holy Family being able to capitalize. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, 8 Mar. 2024 Trader Joe's canvas mini tote bags have been hard to find and resellers have been capitalizing off the item's skyrocketing market value, but shoppers' luck could turn around in a few months. Jonathan Limehouse, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2024 Arizona capitalized late in the second quarter during a rare break for Watkins, who went to the bench with 3:32 left. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'capitalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

(sense 1) capital entry 2 (sense 2) + -ize; (senses 2-4) borrowed from French capitaliser, from capital capital entry 2 + -iser -ize

First Known Use

1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of capitalize was in 1764

Dictionary Entries Near capitalize

Cite this Entry

“Capitalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalize. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

capitalize

verb
cap·​i·​tal·​ize ˈkap-ət-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce capitalize (audio)
ˈkap-tᵊl-
capitalized; capitalizing
1
: to write or print with a beginning capital letter or in capital letters
2
a
: to supply capital for (as a business or a project)
b
: to use as capital (as in business)
3
: to use to help oneself
capitalize on an opponent's mistake
capitalization
ˌkap-ət-ᵊl-ə-ˈzā-shən
ˌkap-tᵊl-
noun

Legal Definition

capitalize

transitive verb
cap·​i·​tal·​ize ˈka-pət-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce capitalize (audio)
capitalized; capitalizing
1
a
: to convert into capital
capitalize the company's earnings
b
: to treat as a capital expenditure rather than an ordinary and necessary expense
the cost of the merger must be capitalized
2
a
: to compute the present value of (an income extended over a period of time) compare amortize
b
: to convert (a periodic payment) into an equivalent capital sum
capitalized annuities
3
: to supply capital for
had capitalized the business with her own savings

More from Merriam-Webster on capitalize

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