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.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • capacity — ca·pac·i·ty n pl ties 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; esp: mental ability as it relates to responsibility for the commission of a… …   Law dictionary

  • Capacity — is the ability to hold, receive or absorb, or a measure thereof, similar to the concept of volume.Capacity may also refer to: *Capacity (economics), the point of production at which a firm or industry s average (or per unit ) costs begin to rise …   Wikipedia

  • capacity — [kə pas′i tē] n. pl. capacities [ME & OFr capacite < L capacitas < capax: see CAPACIOUS] 1. the ability to contain, absorb, or receive and hold 2. a) the amount of space that can be filled; room for holding; content or volume [a tank with a …   English World dictionary

  • capacity — ► NOUN (pl. capacities) 1) the maximum amount that something can contain or produce. 2) (before another noun ) fully occupying the available space: a capacity crowd. 3) the total cylinder volume that is swept by the pistons in an internal… …   English terms dictionary

  • capacity — early 15c., from M.Fr. capacité (15c.), from L. capacitatem (nom. capacitas) breadth, capacity, from capax (gen. capacis) able to hold much, from capere to take (see CAPABLE (Cf. capable)). Meaning largest audience a place can hold is 1908. Verb… …   Etymology dictionary

  • capacity — [n1] volume; limit of volume held accommodation, amplitude, bulk, burden, compass, contents, dimensions, expanse, extent, full, holding ability, holding power, latitude, magnitude, mass, measure, proportions, quantity, range, reach, retention,… …   New thesaurus

  • Capacity —   [engl.], Kapazität …   Universal-Lexikon

  • capacity — *ability, capability Analogous words: amplitude, *expanse, spread: extent, magnitude, *size, volume: aptitude, *gift, faculty, talent, bent, turn, knack Antonyms: incapacity Contrasted words: powerlessness, impotence (see corresponding adjectives …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • capacity — n. ability to hold 1) to capacity (filled to capacity) 2) lung; seating; storage capacity 3) a capacity of (a capacity of twenty gallons) ability 4) intellectual, mental capacity 5) one s earning capacity 6) a capacity for (a capacity for making… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • capacity — A lending and credit analysis term that describes a borrower s or applicant s ability to meet debt service obligations. See debt service coverage. American Banker Glossary credit grantor s measurement of a person s ability to repay loans.… …   Financial and business terms

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