Definition of capitalize
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 fundb : 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
: 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 of capitalize from the Web
Other scenes capitalize on the awful ways people can drown.
Despite going through a period of downsizing during the Great Depression, the brand was able to rebound by capitalizing on America's efforts to rebuild after a devastating war and economic crash.
The smaller E-Pace is expected to capitalize on the segment’s red-hot popularity with its sports-car styling and high-end heritage.
Al-Shabab positions itself as a defender of disenfranchised and marginalized clans, expertly manipulating and capitalizing on local and clan grievances to gain support — including gathering the support of anti-government leaders and militias.
LSU, led by Ed Orgeron and Tommie Robinson, did a masterful job in capturing the excitement of the moment and capitalizing on it.
Smartphones are where much of the potential is, capitalizing on consumers’ increasing comfort with using phones or an app to settle a restaurant bill, book a car or quickly send money to a friend.
Kidspace Children’s Museum capitalizes on their appeal with two days of nail-biting races.
The third film is more like a series of different vignettes more intent on introducing new characters than capitalizing on what made the first two movies work.
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.
Financial Definition of CAPITALIZE
What It Is
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.
CAPITALIZE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of capitalize for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of capitalize for Students
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.
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
Seen and Heard
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