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"building where U.S. Congress meets," 1793 (in writings of Thomas Jefferson), from Latin Capitolium, temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill in ancient Rome. Used earlier of Virginia state houses (1699). Its use in American public architecture deliberately evokes Roman republican imagery. With reference to the Roman citadel, it is recorded in English from late 14c., via Old North French capitolie. Relationship of Capitoline to capital is likely but not certain.