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

Exposure of children in these spaces may not be extreme enough to provoke symptoms of acute lead poisoning—which include reductions in metal capacity, kidney damage, hypertension, anemia, and reduced immunity. Feargus O'sullivan, WIRED, "The Notre Dame Fire Spread Toxic Lead Dust Over Paris," 1 Aug. 2019 Bird is keeping a lot of specifications on its new scooter, including battery capacity, range, and top speed, under wraps for now. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Bird’s new electric scooter has a better battery and anti-vandalism sensors," 1 Aug. 2019 As Fortune‘s Aaron Pressman reports, the autonomous train could reduce fuel costs and increase capacity by enabling trains to run faster and closer together. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Boeing’s 737 Max Grounding Grinds On: CEO Daily," 29 July 2019 Another solution that could potentially come to fruition sooner involves the drying up of Ridgewood Lake Park and Veterans Memorial Park ponds to increase detention basin capacity. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Parma residents seek flooding answers; city schedules meeting with Army Corps," 25 July 2019 Adding a third phase to the site will substantially increase capacity for Intel to makes its next generation of chip, which will require a huge new lithography tool. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive.com, "Intel confirms $1 billion sale of modem business to Apple; outlook improves," 25 July 2019 Expanding operations also often involves increasing a charity’s administrative capacity. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "The Ice Bucket Challenge and the promise — and the pitfalls — of viral charity," 20 July 2019 But the plan ran into opposition from the northern suburbs of Lake Forest and Glenview, which objected to the addition of holding tracks in their communities to increase capacity on the line. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Amtrak to add round trip to Milwaukee in next three years," 18 July 2019 Those facilities could increase capacity for more children in case of large influxes or decrease it if the numbers went down. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Here’s what a new shelter for migrant children in D-FW would look like," 16 July 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

5 Aug 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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