Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Capital, in Political Economy, either "that part of a man's property which he expects to afford him a revenue" (Adam Smith), or more strictly, wealth saved and set aside to produce future wealth. In the latter sense it is divided into fixed capital (machinery, tools, and buildings) and circulating capital (raw material, coal, food of labourers, or the wages paid them instead). Both kinds are consumed in producing (the difference being that the consumption of the second is much more rapid than that of the first), and return with a surplus. In commerce the capital of a company is the wealth paid up by its members to invest in the business, as in the first sense above. The word is also sometimes used for the whole body of owners of capital, as in the phrase "the conflict of capital and labour."