Money or money's worth available for production.
“His capital is continually going from him [the merchant] in some shape, and returning to him in another.” —Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations, vol. i. book ii. chap. i. p. 276.
Ready money or property readily convertible into it.
Wages, or raw material. This sort of capital is not available a second time for the same purpose.
Land, buildings, and machinery, which are only gradually consumed. Political capital
is something employed to serve a political purpose. Thus, the Whigs make political capital out of the errors of the Tories, and vice versâ.
“He tried to make capital out of his rival's discomfiture.” —The Times.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894