Definition of capacity
1 : legal competency (see competence 3) or fitness <capacity to stand trial>
2a : the potential (see 2potential 1a)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
3a : an individual's mental or physical ability : aptitude, skill <He has the capacity to handle this job.> <Her breathing capacity has deteriorated.>b : the faculty (see faculty 1) or potential for treating, experiencing, or appreciating <capacity for love>
5 : the facility (see facility 4a(1)) 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>
6a : capacitanceb : 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 and Etymology of capacity
Middle English capacite, from Medieval French capacité, from Latin capacitat-, capacitas, from capac-, capax
First Known Use: 15th century
Definition of capacity
: equaling maximum capacity (see 1capacity 2a) <a capacity crowd>
CAPACITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of capacity for English Language Learners
: 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
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
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