Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of capacity
Meaning of capacity by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English, from French capacité, from Latin capacitas, from capax ( “able to hold much” ), from capere ( “to hold, contain” ) .


    • IPA: /kəˈpæsɪti/, X-SAMPA: /k@"p{sIti/


    capacity ( plural: capacities )

    1. The ability to hold, receive or absorb
    2. A measure of such ability; volume
    3. The maximum amount that can be held
      It was hauling a capacity load .
      The orchestra played to a capacity crowd .
    4. Capability; the ability to perform some task
    5. The maximum that can be produced .
    6. Mental ability; the power to learn
    7. A faculty; the potential for growth and development
    8. A role; the position in which one functions
    9. Legal authority ( to make an arrest for example )
    10. Electrical capacitance .
    11. ( operations ) The maximum that can be produced on a machine or in a facility or group .
      Its capacity rating was 150 tons per hour, but its actual maximum capacity was 200 tons per hour .




    1. Filling the allotted space .
      There will be a capacity crowd at Busch stadium for the sixth game .

    Related terms

    External links

    • capacity in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • capacity in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • capacity at OneLook Dictionary Search

Explanation of capacity by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. a specified function

    2. he was employed in the capacity of director
      he should be retained in his present capacity at a higher salary
    3. the maximum production possible

    4. the plant is working at 80 per cent capacity
    5. tolerance for alcohol

    6. he had drunk beyond his capacity
    7. capability to perform or produce

    8. among his gifts is his capacity for true altruism
      limited runway capacity
      a great capacity for growth
    9. the power to learn or retain knowledge

    10. an electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is stored

    11. the amount of information ( in bytes ) that can be stored on a disk drive

    12. the capacity of a hard disk drive is usually expressed in megabytes
    13. the amount that can be contained

    14. the gas tank has a capacity of 12 gallons
    15. the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment

    Definition of capacity by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Capacity ( kȧpăsĭt ), n.; pl. Capacities ( -tĭz ). [L. capacitus, fr. capax, capacis; fr. F. capacité. See Capacious.]
      1. The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or space; passive power; -- used in reference to physical things.

      Had our great palace the capacity

      To camp this host, we all would sup together. Shak.

      The capacity of the exhausted cylinder. Boyle.

      2. The power of receiving and holding ideas, knowledge, etc.; the comprehensiveness of the mind; the receptive faculty; capability of understanding or feeling.

      Capacity is now properly limited to these [the mere passive operations of the mind]; its primary signification, which is literally room for, as well as its employment, favors this; although it can not be denied that there are examples of its usage in an active sense. Sir W. Hamilton.

      3. Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.

      The capacity of blessing the people. Alex. Hamilton.

      A cause with such capacities endued. Blackmore.

      4. Outward condition or circumstances; occupation; profession; character; position; as, “to work in the capacity of a mason or a carpenter”.

      5. ( Law ) Legal or moral qualification, as of age, residence, character, etc., necessary for certain purposes, as for holding office, for marrying, for making contracts, wills, etc.; legal power or right; competency.

      Capacity for heat, the power of absorbing heat. Substances differ in the amount of heat requisite to raise them a given number of thermometric degrees, and this difference is the measure of, or depends upon, what is called their capacity for heat. See Specific heat, under Heat.

      Syn. -- Ability; faculty; talent; capability; skill; efficiency; cleverness. See Ability.