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noun ca·pac·i·ty \kə-ˈpa-sə-tē, -ˈpas-tē\

: 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

plural ca·pac·i·ties

Full Definition of CAPACITY

:  legal competency or fitness <capacity to stand trial>
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
a :  an individual's mental or physical ability :  aptitude, skill
b :  the faculty or potential for treating, experiencing, or appreciating <capacity for love>
:  duty, position, role <will be happy to serve in any capacity>
:  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>
a :  capacitance
b :  the quantity of electricity that a battery can deliver under specified conditions

Examples of CAPACITY

  1. The nightclub has a 1,000-person capacity.
  2. a bottle with a capacity of two liters
  3. Does he have the capacity to handle this job?
  4. The disease causes a deterioration of breathing capacity.
  5. He was acting in his capacity as judge.
  6. 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


noun ca·pac·i·ty \kə-ˈpa-sə-tē\
plural ca·pac·i·ties

Definition of CAPACITY for Kids

:  ability to contain or deal with something <The room has a large seating capacity.> <Factories are working to capacity.>
:  mental or physical power <You have the capacity to do better.>
:  volume 3 <The tank has a ten-gallon capacity.>
:  role 1, status <In your capacity as team captain, you can set a good example.>
Medical Dictionary


noun ca·pac·i·ty \kə-ˈpas-ət-ē, -ˈpas-tē\
plural ca·pac·i·ties

Medical Definition of CAPACITY

a :  the ability to hold, receive, store, or accommodate b :  a measure of content :  the measured ability to contain :  volume <a beaker with a capacity of one liter>—see vital capacity c (1) :  capacitance (2) :  the quantity of electricity that a battery can deliver under specified conditions
:  legal qualification, competency, power, or fitness
a :  power to grasp and analyze ideas and cope with problems b :  blended power, strength, and ability <encourage physical activity to the limit of the child's capacity—Morris Fishbein>
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