Capital vs. Capitol: Definition, When to Use Which?

There is always confusion between Capital vs. Capitol. Definition, meaning, and When to use? In this article, we will explore the basic difference between Capital and Capitol.

Let’s explore!

Capital vs. Capitol: What is the Difference?

Most of the confusing words in English have similar pronunciations. This is what makes them all the more difficult to remember and use without committing a mistake.

One such example is the use of Capital and Capitol.

In this post, I will be listing the meaning, pronunciation along with some contextual examples.

Capital has many meanings but mostly it can mean the wealth owned or employed in business by an individual or the most important thing of something or some city.The word capitol is related to politics and it usually refers to a building used and occupied by a state legislature
E.g., Delhi is the capital of India E.g., You need a lot of capital to run the business.E.g., Have you visited the state capitol?
Capital vs. Capitol: What is the Difference?

Origin Difference Between Capital vs. Capitol

Etymological Origin of Capital

The word is coming from Middle English which meant as an adjective meaning “the head or top”, later it was used as ‘standing at the head or beginning’. The change happened due to its connection with the Old French word coming from Latin “capitalis”, and from “caput” meaning ‘head’.

Etymological Origin of Capitol

The word Capitol is derived from Capitōlium, the name of a temple dedicated to the Greek god Zeus which sat on the Capitoline Hill.

Definition & Meaning of Capital and Capitol

What is a Capital? Definition

Capital can mean a lot of thing but most frequently it refers to the wealth owned or used in a business by an individual, firm or some corporation, etc. It also refers to something very important or principal. Capital also means an uppercase letter.

However, the best use is for referring a city or town used as the official seat of government in a country or state.

What is a Capitol? Definition

The word Capitol is also associated with the government, but it means something very specific. It refers to a building occupied by a state legislature. But if it is capitalized then it refers specifically to the United States Capitol, which is a building in Washington, DC, that hosts Congress. It is known as the legislative branch of the US federal government.

How do I tell the difference and How to Remember Them?

Now, since they have very similar spelling, sometimes they can be very confusing to remember where to use which one. As a tip, you can consider the importance of the letter O in capitol.  Here you can think that the O stands for “only one” definition, while the A in capital stands for “all the rest.”

This was the “o” will refer to Capitol and the “a” will refer to all the rest.

Some Questions with Answers for Capital vs. Capitol


  • Have you seen the protestors at the (capital/capitol) lawn?
  • -> Have you seen the protestors at the capitol lawn?


  • Where is the State (capital/capitol)?
  • -> Where is the state capitol?


  •  Is the Denver the (capital/capitol) of Colorado?
  • -> Is Denver the capital of Colorado?


  • In the Quiz, they will ask the children about the state (capital/capitol).
  • -> In the Quiz, they will ask the children about the state capitals.


  • Do you know the (capital/capitol) Records building?
  • -> Do you know the Capitol Records Building?


  • Can you lend me some (capital/capitol) to start my business?
  • -> Can you lend me some capital to start my business?


So, there you have it. The difference between “Capital” and “Capitol”. Let us know if you have any other queries.

Refer to our most interesting articles

Nouns that starts with A

Noun that starts with B

Noun that starts with C

What is noun

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Collective nouns

Concrete nouns

Irregular plurals

Reference Articles

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