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



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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 Now firms need to deliver innovation and strategic insights, helping their customers figure out new ways to capitalize on cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Saritha Rai,, "New CEO Drives Wipro Stock Up 70% Without Stepping Into Office," 6 Dec. 2020 The iconic treats, whose delivery was delayed by several weeks this year, are a hot commodity and one Alabama business created a way to capitalize on that. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Alabama eatery offers Little Debbie Tree Cake dessert," 2 Dec. 2020 Wommack continues to introduce new layers to his blitz and coverage schemes that confound quarterbacks, encouraging bad throws and creating chances the Hoosiers capitalize on. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "If Michael Penix is out, IU should take comfort in knowing it has a defense just as capable of winning games," 28 Nov. 2020 Not only are his snaps increasing, but the Cardinals are finding more ways to capitalize on his flexibility over the remaining six regular-season games. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons says patience a hard thing, but paying off now," 26 Nov. 2020 General manager Bob Myers has worked relentless hours to capitalize on the team’s assets, drafting James Wiseman at No. 2, trading for Kelly Oubre Jr., and signing free agents Brad Wanamaker and Kent Bazemore. Connor Letourneau,, "5 pressing questions facing Warriors after a chaotic week of roster building," 26 Nov. 2020 Narrow that to a two-to-one ratio to capitalize on the fact that Pollard is averaging 4.4 yards a carry to 3.8 yards for Elliott. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys at the bye week: Breaking down the Dallas offense, where nothing went as expected," 11 Nov. 2020 Illinois isn’t known for its offensive prowess, so this is a game where the Gophers could capitalize on mistakes or get away with some of their own. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Megan Ryan's Gophers-Illinois game prediction," 7 Nov. 2020 Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was the first to capitalize on the chance to target an audience on one side of the political spectrum, and he was followed eight years later by the Fox News cable TV network. Author: Karen Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Fed up with the election? Science explains how politics got so awful.," 30 Oct. 2020

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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capitalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for capitalize


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)


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


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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