capitalize

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

Definition of capitalize

transitive verb

1 : to write or print with an initial capital or in capitals Capitalize the names of cities and states.
2a : 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
3a : 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for capitalize

Synonyms

bankroll, endow, finance, fund, stake, subsidize, underwrite

Antonyms

defund

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many of the now-teens have went on to capitalize on their fame in other ways. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Everything We Know About ‘Dance Moms’ Season 8 So Far," 8 May 2019 Huskies are being targeted by breeders who capitalize on the demand for the Games of Thrones breed (several of the dogs in the show are relatives of huskies). Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Game Of Thrones Wants You To Stop Buying "Direwolf" Dog Breeds," 16 Apr. 2019 He is known as a political dirty trickster, and capitalizes on his notoriety. Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "In the crosshairs, Roger Stone fires back," 12 June 2018 The news comes as some fashion companies are trying to capitalize on a burgeoning IPO market. Anne D'innocenzio, The Seattle Times, "J. Crew considers IPO for its successful sister Madewell," 11 Apr. 2019 Russia hopes to capitalize on the chaos surrounding Spain, which eked through with a boost from the video assistant referee. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Sunday: A Baseball Rivalry and ‘Recovery Boys’," 1 July 2018 There’s a lot of baseless fearmongering about chemicals in consumer products now, and certainly there are lawyers who will try to capitalize on this latest bad news for Johnson & Johnson. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 While Briskman may try to capitalize on her known opposition to the president, Loudoun County Board members are hoping the election will be about local issues. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Female cyclist who flipped off Trump's motorcade is running for office," 15 Sep. 2018 Entrepreneurs trying to capitalize on busy workplaces filled with drowsy staffers who don't get enough sleep recently have started marketing power-napping booths to businesses. Eric Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Office sleep pods are here, but is dozing off at work really a thing?," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capitalize.' 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 capitalize

1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for capitalize

see capital entry 2

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Statistics for capitalize

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capitalize

The first known use of capitalize was in 1764

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More Definitions for capitalize

capitalize

verb

Financial Definition of capitalize

What It Is

Capitalizing refers to the accounting practice of characterizing the costs of an asset purchase as a long-term asset on the balance sheet instead of an expense on the income statement.

How It Works

Companies capitalize the cost of asset purchases in order to spread out the cost of the assets over many reporting periods. This way, net income is not affected disproportionately in the reporting period in which the asset was purchased.

Rather than being listed as one large expense in one reporting period, a capitalized asset cost will be expensed via depreciation over many reporting periods. On the balance sheet, it will appear as a long-term asset and cash debit. The income statement will also account for a portion of the asset's cost via depreciation expenses.

To illustrate, suppose Company XYZ purchases equipment for $10,000. Rather than report the full $10,000 cost in that period, the company characterizes the purchase as a $10,000 long-term asset. On the balance sheet, the long-term asset account increases and the cash account decreases by $10,000.

As the long-term asset depreciates, the depreciation expense is reported on the income statement. As a result, Company XYZ's bottom line is not grossly affected by the substantial asset purchase in that period. The remainder of the $10,000 will, however, need to be continually reported as a depreciation expense until the asset has fully depreciated.

Why It Matters

Management's decision as to whether to capitalize or expense a purchase has a direct impact on its bottom line. If a company were to report the total cost of an asset purchase as an expense on its income statement (which is to say not capitalize), the cost, depending on the size, it would significantly reduce their net income figure for the reporting period.

Because earnings are probably the single most important indicator of a company's financial strength and growth potential, they are used by investment analysts to provide estimates of a company's growth potential and offer target price estimates for investors interested in purchasing shares. Therefore, company management has a huge interest in managing the way earnings are reported.

Source: Investing Answers

capitalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of capitalize

: to use a capital letter to write, print, or type (a letter of the alphabet)
: to begin (a word or name) with a capital letter
: to provide the money that is needed to start or develop (a business)

capitalize

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

Kids Definition of capitalize

1 : to write with a beginning capital letter or in all capital letters
2 : to provide money needed to start or develop (a business)
3 : to gain by turning something to advantage The winner capitalized on his opponent's mistakes.

Other Words from capitalize

capitalization \ ˌka-​pə-​tə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

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capitalize

transitive verb
cap·​i·​tal·​ize | \ ˈka-pət-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce capitalize (audio) \
capitalized; capitalizing

Legal Definition of capitalize

1a : 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
2a : 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

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Comments on capitalize

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