Simple Definition of capacity
: the ability to hold or contain people or things
: the largest amount or number that can be held or contained
: the ability to do something : a mental, emotional, or physical ability
Full Definition of capacity
1 : legal competency or fitness <capacity to stand trial>
2 a : the potential or suitability for holding, storing, or accommodating <a large seating capacity> b : the maximum amount or number that can be contained or accommodated <a jug with a one-gallon capacity> <the auditorium was filled to capacity> — see metric system table, weight table
5 : the facility or power to produce, perform, or deploy : capability <a plan to double the factory's capacity>; also : maximum output <industries running at three-quarter capacity>
6 a : capacitance b : the quantity of electricity that a battery can deliver under specified conditions
Examples of capacity in a sentence
The nightclub has a 1,000-person capacity.
a bottle with a capacity of two liters
Does he have the capacity to handle this job?
The disease causes a deterioration of breathing capacity.
He was acting in his capacity as judge.
serving in a supervisory capacity
Origin of capacity
Middle English capacite, from Middle French capacité, from Latin capacitat-, capacitas, from capac-, capax
First Known Use: 15th century
Definition of capacity
: equaling maximum capacity <a capacity crowd>
First Known Use of capacity
CAPACITY Defined for Kids
Definition of capacity for Students
1 : ability to contain or deal with something <The room has a large seating capacity.> <Factories are working to capacity.>
2 : mental or physical power <You have the capacity to do better.>
3 : volume 3 <The tank has a ten-gallon capacity.>
Medical Definition of capacity
1a: the ability to hold, receive, store, or accommodateb: a measure of content : the measured ability to contain : volume <a beaker with a capacity of one liter>—see vital capacityc (1): capacitance (2): the quantity of electricity that a battery can deliver under specified conditions
2: legal qualification, competency, power, or fitness
3a: power to grasp and analyze ideas and cope with problemsb: blended power, strength, and ability <encourage physical activity to the limit of the child's capacity—Morris Fishbein>
Legal Definition of capacity
1 : a qualification, power, or ability (as to give consent or make a testament) created by operation of law
2 : an individual's ability or aptitude; especially : mental ability as it relates to responsibility for the commission of a crime (as murder) — see also diminished capacity — compare competency, incapacity, insanity
Learn More about capacity
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "capacity" Medical Dictionary: Definition of "capacity" Spanish Central: Translation of "capacity" Nglish: Translation of "capacity" for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of "capacity" for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "capacity"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up capacity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).