ca·​pac·​i·​tor | \ kə-ˈpa-sə-tər \

Definition of capacitor

: a device that is used to store electrical energy

Examples of capacitor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To handle this, the DRAM is refreshed multiple times per second to top up the capacitors and rewrite the values being stored. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "New modification of the old cold boot attack leaves most systems vulnerable," 13 Sep. 2018 Supercapacitors work like normal capacitors — by accumulating electrical charge on their surface — but at a bigger scale. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Supercapacitors power the Note 9 stylus — but are they ready to replace batteries?," 17 Aug. 2018 As explained in a post on Imgur, this giant 27,000 joule mag-cannon comes in two parts, the 50-pound barrel and firing mechanism and a 200-pound bank of 56 400-volt, 6000-microfarad capacitors. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Mad Scientists Build Ludicrous 250-Pound DIY Railgun," 9 Nov. 2015 The charge storage in the capacitor is volatile, though, and will be lost in a matter of microseconds. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Training a neural network in phase-change memory beats GPUs," 7 June 2018 Some of the production issues on the GPS III satellites in the past included problems with the navigation payload, cracked capacitors and a subcontractor gaffe in 2016 that resulted in the wrong part being tested. Anthony Capaccio,, "Air Force Confident of ‘Fair’ Price for Lockheed GPS Satellites," 8 June 2018 The researchers mimic the behavior of a phase-change bit by hooking up the gate of a transistor to a capacitor. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Training a neural network in phase-change memory beats GPUs," 7 June 2018 The power supply has a quiet 120mm fan with sealed bearings and better quality capacitors for a longer overall lifespan. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Newegg's selling a 500W Cooler Master 80 Plus Bronze certified power supply for only $17.60," 30 May 2018 The company, which manufactures capacitors and resistors essential for regulating electrical flows, boosted profit more than five-fold from a year earlier in the first quarter as demand increased and competitors cut output. Yu-huay Sun,, "World's Top Stock With 908% Gain Makes Tiny Smartphone Parts," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capacitor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capacitor

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for capacitor

The first known use of capacitor was in 1925

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English Language Learners Definition of capacitor

: a device that is used to store electrical energy


ca·​pac·​i·​tor | \ kə-ˈpas-ət-ər \

Medical Definition of capacitor

: a device giving capacitance and usually consisting of conducting plates or foils separated by thin layers of dielectric (as air or mica) with the plates on opposite sides of the dielectric layers oppositely charged by a source of voltage and the electrical energy of the charged system stored in the polarized dielectric

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