capitalize

verb
cap·​i·​tal·​ize | \ ˈka-pə-tə-ˌlīz, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for capitalize

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

defund

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Evans won the 2010 Rookie of the Year award, but has not capitalized on his potential and has yet to make an All-Star team. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "Report: Tyreke Evans Nearing One-Year Deal With Pacers," 3 July 2018 Casey couldn’t capitalize on his four-shot lead after Saturday. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Bubba Watson Comes From Behind In Final Round To Win Third Travelers Championship," 24 June 2018 Usually the kings of the Big 33, Pennsylvania could not capitalize on in its drives and was often unable to convert a first down after moving close to the end zone. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "River Hill's Cooper McGeehan hits late field goal to give Maryland rare 9-6 win in Big 33 Classic," 16 June 2018 Morocco, meanwhile, will be sorely disappointed to have not capitalized on their dominance and will regret their profligacy in front of goal. Matias Grez, CNN, "'I'm already missing a heartbeat': Iranian women get to watch their team at World Cup," 15 June 2018 The game was really lost in the first quarter, when the Warriors burst out to a fairy-tale start and then couldn’t capitalize on it. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Killion: Game 4 didn’t follow the script for the Warriors," 22 May 2018 The Marlins managed baserunners against Newcomb, but couldn’t capitalize. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins nearly shut out against Braves, drop sixth of last seven," 13 May 2018 Once again, the Tigers hit enough, but did not capitalize with runners in scoring position. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers strong pitching wasted as bullpen blows it at Royals, 4-2," 4 May 2018 Jesuit's two runs proved to be enough in Game 3 but the Blue Jays couldn't capitalize on multiple opportunities to break the game open. Josh Preston, NOLA.com, "Jesuit 2, Shaw 0 (Game 3): Andrew Cashman's no-hitter sends Blue Jays to quarterfinals," 29 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of capitalize

1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for capitalize

see capital entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capitalize

Share capitalize

Statistics for capitalize

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capitalize

The first known use of capitalize was in 1764

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

capitalize

transitive verb
cap·​i·​tal·​ize | \ ˈka-pət-ᵊl-ˌīz \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on capitalize

What made you want to look up capitalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

involving abstract or general statements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!