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[kap-i-tl-ahyz] /ˈkæp ɪ tlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), capitalized, capitalizing.
to write or print in capital letters letters or with an initial capital letter.
to authorize a certain amount of stocks and bonds in the corporate charter of:
to capitalize a corporation.
to issue stock as a dividend, thereby capitalizing retained earnings, or as settlement of an unpaid arrearage of preferred dividends.
Accounting. to set up (expenditures) as business assets in the books of account instead of treating as expense.
to supply with capital.
to estimate the value of (a stock or an enterprise).
verb (used without object), capitalized, capitalizing.
to take advantage of; turn something to one's advantage (often followed by on):
to capitalize on one's opportunities.
Also, especially British, capitalise.
Origin of capitalize
1755-65, Americanism; capital1 + -ize
Related forms
capitalizable, adjective
capitalizer, noun
noncapitalized, adjective
uncapitalized, adjective
7. profit by, exploit, utilize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for capitalize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Frohman was now able to capitalize his brilliant road-company experience.

    Charles Frohman: Manager and Man Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
  • In Dutch capitalize all nouns and all adjectives derived from proper nouns.

    Capitals Frederick W. Hamilton
  • Strangely, however, many writers assume offhand that anybody can capitalize words correctly and uniformly.

    The Magazine Style-Code Leigh H. Irvine
  • capitalize, the holy man entered the holy place at the appointed time.

    Capitals Frederick W. Hamilton
  • But do not capitalize when the plural is used, as the state universities of Michigan, Kansas and Ohio.

British Dictionary definitions for capitalize


verb (mainly transitive)
(intransitive) foll by on. to take advantage (of); profit (by)
to write or print (text) in capital letters or with the first letter of (a word or words) in capital letters
to convert (debt or retained earnings) into capital stock
to authorize (a business enterprise) to issue a specified amount of capital stock
to provide with capital
(accounting) to treat (expenditures) as assets
  1. to estimate the present value of (a periodical income)
  2. to compute the present value of (a business) from actual or potential earnings
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for capitalize

"write or print in capital letters," 1764, from capital (n.1) + -ize. Meaning "to convert (assets) to capital" is recorded from 1868. Related: Capitalized; capitalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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