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See also: Capitol and capítol


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English Capitolie, via Anglo-Norman capitolie, Old French capitoile, from Latin Capitōlium (Capitoline Hill, its temples; any similar citadel),[1] from the oblique stem of caput (head) + (forming nouns) or -ōlus (-ole: forming diminutives) + -ium (forming location names). Compare Latin capito and capitulum. As a French magistrate, via French capitoul, from Capitole, the town hall of Toulouse.


The Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, US


capitol (plural capitols)

  1. (US) Any building or complex of buildings in which a legislature meets.
    The state capitol is located smack-dab in the middle of the state's capital.
    • 1901 January 1, "Twentieth Century's Triumphant Entry", The New York Times, page 1:
      The centre of attraction was the City Hall. Two thousand flags and more ...; 2,000 electric lights... combined to make the civic capitol gorgeous... .
  2. (historical) Any citadel or complex of buildings similar to the Roman Capitol, particularly Italian and Roman citadels including temples to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.
  3. (historical) Alternative form of capitoul (the former chief magistrates of Toulouse, France).

Usage notes[edit]

  • The homophone capital refers only to the city designated as a base for government; this government may meet at a capitol building.
  • The capitalized form Capitol typically refers to a particular capitol building, particularly the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.


Related terms[edit]


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  1. ^ Capitol, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.




Borrowed from Italian capitolo, from Latin capitulum. Doublet of capitul.



capitol n (plural capitole)

  1. chapter (section of a book)


Further reading[edit]