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From Middle English capacite, from Old French capacite, from Latin capācitās, from capax (able to hold much), from capiō (to hold, to contain, to take, to understand).


  • IPA(key): /kəˈpæsɪti/
  • (file)


capacity (countable and uncountable, 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.


Derived termsEdit




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

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit