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used in a sentence
2 meanings
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1  —as in:
capitalize the business
Definition provide investment funds for something — such as a business
  • How can we capitalize the new company?
capitalize = provide investment funds for
  • It was fifteen thousand for a first-class ticket, but I'm sufficiently capitalized to indulge such whims.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
capitalized = provided with funds

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
capitalize on our strength
Definition benefit from an advantage
  • How can we capitalize on being first with this idea?
capitalize on = gain advantage from
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The town would like to capitalize on the low-cost electricity provided by the dam.
  • capitalize on = gain advantage
  • Albus asked his parents immediately, capitalizing on the momentary absence of his brother.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Gladstone explained to me how the Hegemony planned to capitalize on that obsession.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • On a personal level, my relations with Chief Buthelezi were close and respectful, and I hoped to capitalize on that.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • You were serving papers and well do I remember how I exhorted you to put forth your best efforts to capitalize on the big news.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • Were they trying to get my head bashed in a picket line so that they could capitalize on the publicity?
    Richard Wright  --  Black Boy
  • Rene was "angling" to capitalize on his fame, my father fulfilled his singular dream of buying a funeral home, and Ira Hayes was found dead—dead drunk.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • Then he capitalized on the midday sun to maximize recharging.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • These were the signs he was waiting for, the lapses he could capitalize on to violently alter the circumstances.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
More commonly:
Outside of the business world, capitalize more commonly refers to changing a letter from lower case to upper case as when "b" is changed to "B".
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