When I am referring specifically to the Municipality of Durham, for example, and I write the following sentence:

The Municipality has approved Article 5.3 of the meeting agenda.

Is the word "municipality" capitalized? Because I am referring to the Municipal Council. I am asking this question because I am under the impression that when we refer a governing body, as opposed to a region, the word should be capitalized.

3 Answers 3


The municipality didn't approve Article 5.3. The municipal council approved it. If you write it thus: 'The Municipality/Municipal Council approved Article 5.3' it looks like a bulletin from a totalitarian propaganda ministry--not very English. 'The council approved Article 5.3' is a better, more democratic fit.

  • 1
    While relevant to the context, this doesn't actually answer the question about the proper capitalization of "municipality".
    – MrHen
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 20:07

I agree with your assessment that it should be capitalized. To confirm, I looked up an article on AP about legislation. AP treats House and Senate as proper nouns:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Midterm elections that will decide control of the Senate are three months away, and the 2016 presidential campaign will start in earnest soon after. Yet the Republican Party still can't figure out what to do about illegal immigration.

It's the issue that vexed Republicans as much as any in their 2012 presidential loss. It's the one problem the party declared it must resolve to win future presidential races. And it still managed to bedevil the party again last week, when House Republicans splintered and stumbled for a day before passing a face-saving bill late Friday night.


This is probably a matter of choice.

I suggest that the word should be capitalised because it a contracted form of the name of the organisation and so it is a proper noun. If for example Durham was run by a body called "The Durham City Council" then you could still use "the municipality" as a common noun but it would not be capitalised.

As another example, You would refer to The Democratic Republic of the Congo as the "Democratic Republic" but you would not capitalise "the democratic republic" if you were referring to, say, The United States of America because then it is a common noun and not part of the name.

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