ca·​pac·​i·​tor | \ kə-ˈpa-sə-tər How to pronounce capacitor (audio) \

Definition of capacitor

: a device that is used to store electrical energy

Examples of capacitor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But if the plates of a capacitor touch, the magic is gone. Sara Harrison, Wired, "When Doctors and Patients Talk About Death Over Zoom," 15 June 2020 The second is that the OLED structure is like a capacitor that has to charge and discharge. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "OLED-power link jumps from useless 50Mb/s to useful 1Gb/s," 13 Mar. 2020 But the best materials for building high-performance super-capacitors are often costly. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: Building a better super-capacitor out of super-stinky durian fruit," 7 Mar. 2020 Enter supercapacitors, which have larger metal plates inside than your average capacitor. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Fruit That Smells Like Butt Could Charge Your iPhone," 26 Feb. 2020 From there, the engine's magneto acts as a generator, charging a lightweight ultra-capacitor in two minutes after a cold start. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 14 Feb. 2020 Once the engine is warm, the capacitor is fully charged in just 20 seconds and can maintain a charge with the engine off for about 30 minutes. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 14 Feb. 2020 Subsequent starts after the initial pull are push-button, as the capacitor discharges into the magneto—now acting as a starter motor—and turns the crankshaft. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 14 Feb. 2020 The Background Benjamin Franklin and other inventors experimented with Leyden jars, now known as capacitors, which hold and release an electric charge. Washington Post, "Better Batteries," 1 May 2015

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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Time Traveler for capacitor

Time Traveler

The first known use of capacitor was in 1925

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Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capacitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for capacitor


How to pronounce capacitor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of capacitor

technical : a device that is used to store electrical energy


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

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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