Definition of Capacity

Ca`pac´i`ty   Pronunciation: kå`păs´ĭ`tŷ
n.1.The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or space; passive power; - used in reference to physical things.
Had our great palace the capacity
To camp this host, we all would sup together.
- Shak.
The capacity of the exhausted cylinder.
- Boyle.
2.The power of receiving and holding ideas, knowledge, etc.; the comprehensiveness of the mind; the receptive faculty; capability of understanding or feeling.
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.
3.Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.
The capacity of blessing the people.
- Alex. Hamilton.
A cause with such capacities endued.
- Blackmore.
4.Outward condition or circumstances; occupation; profession; character; position; as, to work in the capacity of a mason or a carpenter.
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.
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.

Related Words

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Cap in hand
Cap money
Cap of a cannon
Cap of liberty
Cap of maintenance
Cap paper
Cap rock
Capacity for heat
Cape buffalo
Cape elk
Cape jasmine
Cape pigeon
Cape wine
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