From Middle English capital, borrowed from Latin capitālis (in sense “head of cattle”), from caput (English cap). Use in trade and finance originated in Medieval economies when a common but expensive transaction involved trading heads of cattle.
Compare chattel, and kith and kine, which also use “cow” to mean “property”.
Modern English dictionary
Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.
Word of the Day
Get a curated memorable word every day.
Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.