Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The ability to receive, hold, or absorb something.
  • noun The maximum amount that can be contained.
  • noun The power to learn or retain knowledge; mental ability.
  • noun The ability to do, make, or accomplish something; capability.
  • noun The maximum or optimum amount that can be produced.
  • noun The quality of being suitable for or receptive to specified treatment.
  • noun The position in which one functions; role.
  • noun Legal qualification or authority.
  • noun Electricity Capacitance.
  • adjective Filling a space with the most it can hold.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The ability of a stream to transport land-waste, measured by the quantity carried past a given point in a given time.
  • noun The power of receiving or containing; specifically, the power of containing a certain quantity exactly; cubic contents.
  • noun Receptivity; susceptibility to being passively affected in any way; power of receiving impressions, or of being acted upon.
  • noun Active power; ability: as, mental capacity; the capacity of a substance to resist pressure.
  • noun Ability in a moral or legal sense; legal qualification; legal power or right: as, a man or a corporation may have a capacity to give or receive and hold estate; A was present at the meeting in his capacity of director (that is, in virtue of his legal qualification as a director).
  • noun Hence Character; profession; occupation; function.
  • noun A license; authorization.
  • noun Synonyms Dimensions.
  • noun Aptitude, Faculty (see genius), turn, forte, aptness; Ability, Capacity (see ability).
  • noun Office, sphere, post, function.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or space; passive power; -- used in reference to physical things.
  • noun The power of receiving and holding ideas, knowledge, etc.; the comprehensiveness of the mind; the receptive faculty; capability of understanding or feeling.
  • noun Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.
  • noun Outward condition or circumstances; occupation; profession; character; position.
  • noun (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.
  • noun 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The ability to hold, receive or absorb
  • noun A measure of such ability; volume
  • noun The maximum amount that can be held
  • noun Capability; the ability to perform some task
  • noun The maximum that can be produced.
  • noun Mental ability; the power to learn
  • noun A faculty; the potential for growth and development
  • noun A role; the position in which one functions
  • noun Legal authority (to make an arrest for example)
  • noun Electrical capacitance.
  • noun operations The maximum that can be produced on a machine or in a facility or group.
  • adjective Filling the allotted space.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the maximum production possible
  • noun the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment
  • noun the amount that can be contained
  • noun tolerance for alcohol
  • noun a specified function
  • noun (computer science) the amount of information (in bytes) that can be stored on a disk drive
  • noun the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
  • noun capability to perform or produce
  • noun an electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is stored

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English capacite, from Old French, from Latin capācitās, from capāx, capāc-, spacious; see capacious.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • All those things are time-binding phenomena produced by the time-binding capacity of man; but man has _not_ known that _this capacity_ was his

    Manhood of Humanity.

  • I have not, perhaps, in the course of the lecture, insisted enough on the nature of relative capacity and individual character, as the roots of all real _value_ in Art. We are too much in the habit, in these days, of acting as if Art.worth a price in the market were a commodity which people could be generally taught to produce, and as if the _education_ of the artist, not his _capacity_, gave the sterling value to his work.

    A Joy For Ever (And Its Price in the Market)

  • Yet notwithstanding these circumstances, so favourable to the exclusion of error, the result is a higher specific inductive capacity for sulphur than for any other body as yet tried; and though this may in part be clue to the sulphur being in a better shape, i.e. filling up more completely the space _o, o_, (fig. 104.) than the cups of shell-lac and glass, still I feel satisfied that the experiments altogether fully prove the existence of a difference between dielectrics as to their power of favouring an inductive action through them; which difference may, for the present, be expressed by the term _specific inductive capacity_.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1

  • That leap in capacity is due to the different wavelengths of light carrying the data.

    Boing Boing: September 12, 2004 - September 18, 2004 Archives

  • This capacity is a priority for survival in this Revolution and for whatever is coming next.

    Can we talk?

  • This capacity is a priority for survival in this Revolution and for whatever is coming next.

    Can we talk?

  • This capacity is a priority for survival in this Revolution and for whatever is coming next.

    Innovation

  • But he sees only a slight risk from what he calls "capacity exuberance" in the current upswing.

    Michelin Steps on the Gas

  • This capacity is a priority for survival in this Revolution and for whatever is coming next.

    Technology

  • This capacity is a priority for survival in this Revolution and for whatever is coming next.

    17 posts from February 2009

Comments

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  • This morning's discovery: you can say 'in the capacity as'. Or at least USAans can: it has comparable numbers to the more common 'in the capacity of'. I'd never seen this construction before.

    January 28, 2009

  • Uhh... I would suggest USAans not say that. It sounds so very very wrong. Did you see it in the news somewhere?

    January 28, 2009

  • I've never heard any American say that. In fact, I've never heard or seen that construction before. How odd.

    January 28, 2009

  • I would say "in its capacity as", but I would never say "in the capacity as".

    *curious now* Where did you see this one, qroqqa?

    January 29, 2009