Capacities
Capacity Ca*pac"i*ty (k[.a]*p[a^]s"[i^]*t[y^]), n.; pl. {Capacities} (-t[i^]z). [L. capacitus, fr. capax, capacis; fr. F. capacit['e]. See {Capacious}.] 1. The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or space; passive power; -- used in reference to physical things. [1913 Webster]

Had our great palace the capacity To camp this host, we all would sup together. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The capacity of the exhausted cylinder. --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

2. The power of receiving and holding ideas, knowledge, etc.; the comprehensiveness of the mind; the receptive faculty; capability of understanding or feeling. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

3. Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing. [1913 Webster]

The capacity of blessing the people. --Alex. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

A cause with such capacities endued. --Blackmore. [1913 Webster]

4. Outward condition or circumstances; occupation; profession; character; position; as, to work in the capacity of a mason or a carpenter. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{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}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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