A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, department, or other subnational entity, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is often designated by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, different branches of government are in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the official (constitutional) capital and the seat of government, which is in another place.
English-language news media often use the name of the capital city as an alternative name for the government of the country of which it is the capital, as a form of metonymy. For example, "relations between Washington and London" refer to "relations between the United States and the United Kingdom".