U.S. Capitol

Capital or Capitol?

What’s the Difference?

The words “capital” and “capitol” are similar in spelling and pronunciation, but they have different meanings.

  1. Capital: This term has several meanings depending on the context. Here are the most common uses:

    • Financial capital: Capital refers to money or wealth used in the production of goods, services, or investments. It can also refer to the city where a country’s government is located, often called the capital city. For example, Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States.

    • Capital letters: Capital, in this sense, refers to uppercase letters used at the beginning of sentences or proper nouns.

    • Capital punishment: It refers to the legally authorized killing of a person as punishment for a crime, also known as the death penalty.

  2. Capitol: This term typically refers to a specific building or complex where a legislative body meets. The most well-known example is the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., which houses the United States Congress.

In summary, “capital” usually refers to financial, uppercase letters, or a city where a government is based, while “capitol” refers to a building where a legislative body convenes.


“But it frees up capital and adds 40 to 50 basis points to a key measure of Deutsche Bank’s financial health, its common equity Tier 1 capital ratio.”
            The Wall Street Journal
“The thick smog that covers India’s capital of New Delhi has been identified as the worst the city has seen in 17 years.”
            The Weather Network
“The letter, in which Mr. Carney described himself as “Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant”, was branded at the top with a red-inked “Seen by the Queen” stamp in capital letters to show the sovereign had read the correspondence.”
            The Daily Telegraph
“Nicolli had a big job—handling a big tree that will adorn the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn for the Christmas season.”
“The capitol’s second floor houses a grand social hall where wakes of provincial government officials, grand balls, parties, concerts, and meetings are held.”
           The Inquirer

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