capacity

noun
ca·​pac·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce capacity (audio) , -ˈpa-stē\
plural capacities

Definition of capacity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : legal competency (see competence sense 1) or fitness capacity to stand trial
2a : 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, Weights and Measures 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 or potential for treating, experiencing, or appreciating capacity for love
4 : duty, position, role will be happy to serve in any capacity
5 : 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
b : the quantity of electricity that a battery can deliver under specified conditions

capacity

adjective

Definition of capacity (Entry 2 of 2)

: equaling maximum capacity a capacity crowd

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Synonyms for capacity

Synonyms: Noun

complement, cubage, real estate, volume

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Examples of capacity in a Sentence

Noun

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The frame can handle it all, too, with a capacity of 300 pounds. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Excellent E-Bikes for Racing, Commuting, and Hauling," 4 July 2019 At one Texas station, 51 women were in a cell with a capacity for 40 juveniles, while 71 men huddled in a cell designated for 41. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics: Trump's rolling out the tanks," 3 July 2019 Over the the past 10 years, the company has increased the facility's storage capacity to 3.5 million barrels of crude oil. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Flint HIlls Resources puts Ingleside Crude Oil Export Terminal on the market," 26 June 2019 The agency is asking for $2.88 billion in emergency funding to increase capacity in children shelters. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "What are conditions like at the detention facility in Homestead, Florida?," 26 June 2019 Rather, the plan pulls together previously proposed infrastructure projects, including a transport link between Gaza and the West Bank as well as increased capacity at Gaza’s power station to address crippling electricity outages. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "Kushner presents vision of a Middle East at peace but no details how to get there," 25 June 2019 The additional pipeline would increase Trans Mountain’s capacity by two-thirds, but is bitterly opposed by greens and some indigenous groups. The Economist, "Business this week," 22 June 2019 The expansion could increase indoor and outdoor capacity by more than 20,000 square feet and enhance the experience of the 90,000 visitors who come to the Wright Home and Studio each year, Adams said. Felicia Dechter, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Frank Lloyd Wright Trust rolls out concept to add visitor, education center and boost Oak Park’s rich architectural history," 20 June 2019 Under his ownership, the Broncos continued to sell out every home game — a streak that began in 1970 — even as the team increased the seating capacity in Mile High Stadium by 50 percent. Ken Belson, New York Times, "Pat Bowlen, Influential Owner of the Denver Broncos, Dies at 75," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capacity.' 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 capacity

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for capacity

Noun and Adjective

Middle English capacite, from Middle French capacité, from Latin capacitat-, capacitas, from capac-, capax

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Statistics for capacity

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capacity

The first known use of capacity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for capacity

capacity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of capacity

: 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

noun
ca·​pac·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce capacity (audio) \
plural capacities

Kids Definition of capacity

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 sense 3 The tank has a ten-gallon capacity.
4 : role sense 1, status In your capacity as team captain, you can set a good example.

capacity

noun
ca·​pac·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈpas-ət-ē, -ˈpas-tē How to pronounce capacity (audio) \
plural capacities

Medical Definition of capacity

1a : 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
2 : legal qualification, competency, power, or fitness
3a : 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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capacity

noun
ca·​pac·​i·​ty
plural capacities

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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Comments on capacity

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