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

Antonyms

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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 The Sport Plus driving mode gives you the most off-throttle regeneration, but most of the regen comes via the brake pedal, which means in this context, the Taycan doesn't fully capitalize on its dual-motor advantage. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "2020 Porsche Taycan 4S Has No Time for Your Winter Driving Worries," 6 Jan. 2020 Stern capitalized on that by sending NBA teams to play preseason games against other NBA or international clubs, and opened offices in other countries. Brian Mahoney, Anchorage Daily News, "Former NBA Commissioner David Stern dies at 77," 2 Jan. 2020 The Bulldogs capitalized with a touchdown drive extended by fake field goal in which holder Jake Camarda ran off tackle for 6 yards on fourth-and-2. Brett Martel, Houston Chronicle, "Georgia takes down Baylor in Sugar Bowl," 1 Jan. 2020 Fall has improved on the court and the Celtics have capitalized on Fall’s personality and popularity off the floor. BostonGlobe.com, "The final 64 percent of the regular season will be a challenge but these are the eight things we’ve learned about the Celtics so far:," 31 Dec. 2019 The Irish capitalized on the turnover with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ian Book to Claypool on third-and-17. Tyler James, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame finds passion and purpose in Camping World Bowl rout of Iowa State," 29 Dec. 2019 And the Broncos capitalized with Drew Lock finding an open Andrew Beck for a 1-yard touchdown, one play after cornerback Trayvon Mullen had been flagged for pass interference in the end zone. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders’ season ends in 16-15 loss to Broncos," 29 Dec. 2019 But Lewerke and the offense finally capitalized on a long drive – 10 plays, 73 yards and 4:42 – to open the second half and take the lead for good. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football ends taxing season with satisfying Pinstripe Bowl win," 28 Dec. 2019 With calls for privacy regulation from Capitol Hill and the presidential campaign trail intensifying, Mactaggart is capitalizing on a growing unease with the tech industry's business tactics post-Cambridge Analytica. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "California Consumer Privacy Act may help take back your privacy and give you more rights over your data," 28 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for capitalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of capitalize was in 1764

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Statistics for capitalize

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capitalize.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalized. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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
How to pronounce capitalize (audio)

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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