Definition of capacity in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈpasɪti/

noun (plural capacities)

1 [in singular] The maximum amount that something can contain: the capacity of the freezer is 1.1 cubic feet the stadium’s seating capacity [mass noun]: the room was filled to capacity
More example sentences
  • One of 10 World Cup stadiums in South Korea, the Pusan World Cup Stadium has a seating capacity of 55,982.
  • They faced last-place Recreativo Huelva - not much of a draw - yet the enormous stadium was filled to capacity.
  • Built in 1960, the room has a maximum capacity of more than 250 people.
volume, cubic measure;
room, space;
extent, range, scope, compass
1.1 [as modifier] Fully occupying the available area or space: they played to a capacity crowd
More example sentences
  • Billy Graham was drawing capacity crowds around the world when John Paul II was still a junior professor in Poland.
  • Johnny was a great favourite in Bourke's Lounge in the village where he played to capacity crowds on several occasions over the past decade.
  • Kieran is one of the biggest attractions on the scene all over the Ulster region and is drawing capacity crowds to many venues.
1.2The total cylinder volume that is swept by the pistons in an internal combustion engine: the cubic capacity is 1171 cc
More example sentences
  • These include a raised capacity, new cylinder block, pistons and crankshaft.
  • However, it differs in revised crankshaft and pistons, an increased cylinder capacity and larger intake and exhaust ports.
  • The ECJ was once again faced with a national fiscal measure that imposed a progressively higher tax based on the cylinder capacity of the car.
1.3 former term for capacitance.
Example sentences
  • When this happens, it becomes difficult to maintain the capacity of the unused battery.
  • The bulb would get progressively dimmer and finally go out once the capacitor reached its capacity.
  • Nickel Cadmium cells are better, but still lack capacity and pollute unless disposed of properly.
2The amount that something can produce: the company aimed to double its electricity-generating capacity when running at full capacity, the factory will employ 450 people
More example sentences
  • The sales mean Boeing will be at full capacity through the end of this year, Commercial Airplanes Group Chief Executive Alan Mulally said last week.
  • The plant generally runs at full capacity from December through May and then undergoes two weeks of maintenance.
  • The project at full capacity is designed to produce 12500 tons of zinc per month.
3The ability or power to do or understand something: I was impressed by her capacity for hard work their intellectual capacities
More example sentences
  • A historian's understanding of the past and of the motives of the people who make history is bound to be influenced by his own experience and by his capacity for understanding human beings.
  • The fact is that he had a huge capacity for understanding the minutiae of problems without effort so he did not need to strain himself.
  • You have an infinite capacity for understanding people's problems and you can sympathize with them.
cleverness, intelligence;
gift, strong point, forte, knack;
informal know-how
3.1 [in singular] A person’s legal competence: cases where a patient’s testamentary capacity is in doubt
More example sentences
  • The Applicant in that case questioned the testamentary capacity of the deceased person.
  • Mr. Pascu, the applicant, asserts that the testator had testamentary capacity at the time the will was drafted.
  • It was accepted that the second 1990 will had been duly executed, but the deceased's testamentary capacity was in issue.
4 [in singular] A specified role or position: I was engaged in a voluntary capacity writing in his capacity as legal correspondent
More example sentences
  • His second role is in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer (chief minister) of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Lee viewed the president's custodial role as excluding the capacity to hobble the government.
  • Some of the participants have remained involved with the project to assist in a voluntary capacity.



Pronunciation: /kəˈpasɪtətɪv/
(also capacitative) adjective (chiefly Physics )
Example sentences
  • This can be caused by many contributors such as loaded cables acting as a lowpass filters, transformers and series capacitors as high pass filters, circuit bandpass filtering and other influences of inductive and capacitive reactance.
  • Air temperature and relative humidity were measured at 2 m above the soil surface with a HMP35A capacitive hygrometer (Vaisala Oy, Helsinki, Finland) placed in a ventilated shelter.
  • This pulse-induced permeability is suggested to be due to the capacitive breakdown of the intercellular lipid bilayers and corneocyte membranes, creating a conductive path straight through the stratum corneum.


Late Middle English: from French capacité, from Latin capacitas, from capax, capac- 'that can contain', from capere 'take or hold'.

Words that rhyme with capacity

audacity, fugacity, loquacity, mendacity, opacity, perspicacity, pertinacity, pugnacity, rapacity, sagacity, sequacity, tenacity, veracity, vivacity, voracity

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cap|acity

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