capacity

noun
ca·​pac·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈpa-sə-tē , -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 worst country for coal right now is China, which runs more than a thousand of these under-capacity plants. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Nearly Half the World's Coal Plants Are Losing Money," 4 Dec. 2018 Some scenarios would make use of existing seats, moving students in overcrowded schools to those that are under-capacity. Libby Solomon, baltimoresun.com, "Firm presents 7 scenarios to address Balto. Co. high school overcrowding; all include new Towson High," 13 July 2018 Universal has constructed a formidable viewing area – capacity of about 6,500 people – in the Central Park area for the show. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "First look: 'Universal Orlando's Cinematic Celebration'," 10 July 2018 At 33,000 square feet, the new shelter will comfortably handle 152 dogs, slightly decrease cat capacity, increase the play-yard space to around 2,400 square feet, and double the number of veterinary surgery tables from 2 to 4. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "City breaks ground on 'no kill' animal shelter slated to open in mid-2019," 5 July 2018 That would further cut untapped capacity in global markets, increasing the possibility of serious price volatility in the event of a shock elsewhere. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Trump Says Saudi Arabia Will Increase Oil Production at His Request," 30 June 2018 That garnered criticism from the White House, which believes inflation will remain subdued because its policies are encouraging investment and increasing the economy’s productive capacity. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Fed Names Stacey Tevlin New Head Economist," 25 Jan. 2019 SanDisk said that the company will deliver the Extreme Pro in spring 2019, in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacity points. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "SanDisk's Extreme Pro portable SSD is so fast you can edit video on it," 8 Jan. 2019 By 2014, Kakuma was 58,000 people over capacity and the UN created a new settlement just north to accommodate those continuing to flee. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 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

18 Feb 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 \
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 \
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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