Capital or Capitol?

What Is the Difference between "Capital" and "Capitol"?

homeconfused wordsCapital or Capitol?
the quick answer

The Quick Answer

Capitol is the building where the US Congress meets.

Capital means a city serving as a country's seat of government, an amount of money or property, an uppercase letter, excellent or principal.

Capitol and Capital

Many people (particularly non-Americans) who see the word Capitol in writing assume it is a typo of capital.


The Capitol is the building that serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress. It is located in Washington on top of Capitol Hill.

The United States Capitol


The word capital has numerous meanings. As a noun, it means (1) a city that is the seat of the government for a country or a state, or (2) an amount of money or property. As an adjective, capital denotes (1) an uppercase letter, (2) first rate, excellent, or (3) main, principal.

  • The Capitol is the main building of the US Congress.
  • (Capitol is also known as the Statehouse.)
  • The capital of England is London.
  • That was a capital speech you made from the Capitol.
  • (Here, capital means first rate or excellent.)
  • Do you have any capital invested in her business?
  • (Here, capital means money or property.)
  • Our capital concern is that everyone gets fed during the electricity failure.
  • (Here, capital means main or principal.)
  • In German, all nouns start with a capital letter.
hot grammar tip

Hot Tip

Always Use a Capital for Capitol

The word Capitol is a proper noun (i.e., the name of something). Therefore, it should always be written with a capital C.

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