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2 definitions found
 for capital letter
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Capital \Cap"i*tal\, a. [F. capital, L. capitalis capital (in
     senses 1 & 2), fr. caput head. See Chief, and cf.
     Capital, n.]
     1. Of or pertaining to the head. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
              Expect with mortal pain.              --Milton.
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     2. Having reference to, or involving, the forfeiture of the
        head or life; affecting life; punishable with death; as,
        capital trials; capital punishment.
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              Many crimes that are capital among us. --Swift.
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              To put to death a capital offender.   --Milton.
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     3. First in importance; chief; principal.
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              A capital article in religion         --Atterbury.
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              Whatever is capital and essential in Christianity.
                                                    --I. Taylor.
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     4. Chief, in a political sense, as being the seat of the
        general government of a state or nation; as, Washington
        and Paris are capital cities.
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     5. Of first rate quality; excellent; as, a capital speech or
        song. [Colloq.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Capital letter [F, lettre capitale] (Print.), a leading or
        heading letter, used at the beginning of a sentence and as
        the first letter of certain words, distinguished, for the
        most part, both by different form and larger size, from
        the small (lower-case) letters, which form the greater
        part of common print or writing.
  
     Small capital letters have the form of capital letters and
        height of the body of the lower-case letters.
  
     Capital stock, money, property, or stock invested in any
        business, or the enterprise of any corporation or
        institution. --Abbott.
  
     Syn: Chief; leading; controlling; prominent.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  capital letter
      n 1: one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first
           letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes
           for emphasis; "printers once kept the type for capitals and
           for small letters in separate cases; capitals were kept in
           the upper half of the type case and so became known as
           upper-case letters" [syn: capital, capital letter,
           uppercase, upper-case letter, majuscule] [ant:
           lower-case letter, lowercase, minuscule, small
           letter]

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