ca·​pac·​i·​tor kə-ˈpa-sə-tər How to pronounce capacitor (audio)
: a device that is used to store electrical energy

Examples of capacitor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Was your scene actually inspired by that Back to the Future scene where 1955 Doc slams the door in Marty’s face until Marty recalls the story of how Doc came up with the idea for the flux capacitor? Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 May 2024 By switching at high speed, under software control, the inverter produces a high-frequency AC signal that is filtered by capacitors and other components to produce a smooth AC current output. Benjamin Kroposki, IEEE Spectrum, 13 Apr. 2024 During the production process, a sensor in the car’s occupant detection system may have become deformed, Subaru said, which can cause a crack to form in a capacitor and let moisture in. William Gavin, Quartz, 27 Mar. 2024 One bug zapper had hundreds of reviews, but most were written about a capacitor motor fan; another bug zapper listing had reviews of pens and paper goods. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 28 Mar. 2024 There are also iconic pieces included in the build, like a light-up flux capacitor, Mr. Fusion generator, a lightning rod, and the OUTATIME license plate. Mia Huelsbeck, Peoplemag, 21 Mar. 2024 The process begins with cleaning the motherboard and removing unwanted components like capacitors and plastic cladding. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2024 The researchers’ prototype is able to do this because no power is needed to harvest magnetic energy; the device can continue to build up energy even after its capacitors are empty. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Feb. 2024 But as detailed in the YouTube video, the one bought off eBay only has two inductors, as well as a large electrolytic capacitor, but a lot less circuitry overall. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 9 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'capacitor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of capacitor was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near capacitor

Cite this Entry

“Capacitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ca·​pac·​i·​tor kə-ˈpas-ət-ər How to pronounce capacitor (audio)
: a device for storing electric charge

called also condenser

Medical Definition


ca·​pac·​i·​tor kə-ˈpas-ət-ər How to pronounce capacitor (audio)
: 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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