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capital (adj.)

13世纪初, “of or pertaining to the head”, 来自古法语 capital, 来自拉丁语 capitalis “of the head”, 因此是“首都, 首领, 第一”, 来自 caput (genitive capitis) “头” (来自PIE根 *kaput- “头” ). 意为“主要的, 主要的, 首领的, 主导的, 重要的第一”, 来自15世纪初的英语. 现代非正式意义上的“优秀的, 第一流的” 是到1754年(作为赞叹词, OED的第一个例子是1875年), 也许是源于该词更早地用于指代船只, “第一流的, 强大的, 足以上阵的”, 从1650年代开始考证, 1918年后就被废弃了. 相关内容: Capitally.

A capital letter “大写的后者”, 面较大, 形式上多少有些不同(14世纪末), 因为它站在句子或单词的“头”, 所以被称为“大写的后者”. Capital gain 记载于1921年. Capital goods 是从1899年开始记录的.

capital 犯罪或违法行为(1520年代) 是指涉及到死刑的刑罚, 从而影响到生命或“头” (capital 从14世纪晚期开始在英语中就有“致命的, 凡人的” 的意义, 正如它在拉丁语中的早期一样). “头” 与“生命, 死亡” 之间的感觉联系在古英语中也存在:如 heafodgilt “致命的罪, 死刑罪”, heafdes þolian “没收生命”. Capital punishment 是在布莱克斯通(1765) 和古典拉丁文 capitis poena.

capital (n.1)

15世纪初, “一个大写的字母”, 来自 capital (adj.). 意思是“作为政府官方所在地的城市或城镇”, 最早记载于1660年代(古英语为 heafodstol; 中英语有 hevedburgh). 金融意义见 capital (n. 2).

capital (n.2)

1610年代, “一个人的财富”, 来自中世纪拉丁文 capitale “股票, 财产”, 拉丁文 capitalis “资本, 首领, 第一” 的名词性使用(见 capital (adj.) ). 从16世纪40年代起作为“开展特定业务所使用的财富”, 然后, 在政治经济学中, 在更广泛的意义上, “工业产品中可用于进一步生产的那部分” (1793).

[The term capital ] made its first appearance in medieval Latin as an adjective capitalis (from caput, head) modifying the word pars, to designate the principal sum of a money loan. The principal part of a loan was contrasted with the “usury” —later called interest—the payment made to the lender in addition to the return of the sum lent. This usage, unknown to classical Latin, had become common by the thirteenth century and possibly had begun as early as 1100 A. D. , in the first chartered towns of Europe. [Frank A. Fetter, “Reformulation of the Concepts of Capital and Income in Economics and Accounting,” 1937, in “Capital, Interest, & Rent,” 1977]

另见 cattle, 并比较 fee, 和 pecuniary 的意义发展. 中古英语有 chief money “本金” (14世纪中叶). 该形容词的名词用法在古典拉丁语中的意思是“资本犯罪”.

capital (n.3)

“柱子或柱子的头”, 13世纪末, 来自英法 capitel, 古法 chapitel (现代法语 chapiteau), 或直接来自拉丁文 capitellum “柱子或柱子的头”, 字面意思是“小头”, 是 caput “头” 的缩略语(来自PIE根 *kaput- “头” ).

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Definitions of capital from WordNet
1
capital (n.)
assets available for use in the production of further assets;
Synonyms: working capital
capital (n.)
wealth in the form of money or property owned by a person or business and human resources of economic value;
capital (n.)
a seat of government;
capital (n.)
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";
Synonyms: capital letter / uppercase / upper-case letter / majuscule
capital (n.)
a center that is associated more than any other with some activity or product;
the crime capital of Italy
the drug capital of Columbia
capital (n.)
the upper part of a column that supports the entablature;
Synonyms: chapiter / cap
2
capital (adj.)
first-rate;
a capital idea
a capital fellow
capital (adj.)
of primary importance;
our capital concern was to avoid defeat
capital (adj.)
uppercase;
capital A
Synonyms: great / majuscule
3
Capital (n.)
the federal government of the United States;
Synonyms: Washington
Capital (n.)
a book written by Karl Marx (1867) describing his economic theories;
Synonyms: Das Kapital
From wordnet.princeton.edu