Definition of capacity noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kəˈpæsəti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈpæsəti//
    (pl. capacities) Manufacturing, Running a business, How machines work
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    of container
  1. 1  [uncountable, countable, usually singular] the number of things or people that a container or space can hold The theatre has a seating capacity of 2 000. a fuel tank with a capacity of 50 litres The hall was filled to capacity (= was completely full). They played to a capacity crowd (= one that filled all the space or seats). a hard disk storage capacity of 500 gigabytes
  2. ability
  3. 2  [countable, usually singular, uncountable] the ability to understand or to do something intellectual capacity capacity for something She has an enormous capacity for hard work. capacity for doing something Limited resources are restricting our capacity for developing new products. capacity to do something your capacity to enjoy life
  4. role
  5. 3[countable, usually singular] the official position or function that somebody has synonym role acting in her capacity as manager We are simply involved in an advisory capacity on the project. See related entries: Running a business
  6. of factory/machine
  7. 4[singular, uncountable] the quantity that a factory, machine, etc. can produce The factory is working at full capacity. Wordfinderassembly line, capacity, factory, foreman, plant, process, production, shift, shop floor, workforce Wordfindercapacity, industry, just-in-time, labour, lead time, output, raw material, shipping, supply chain, warehouse See related entries: Manufacturing
  8. of engine
  9. 5[countable, uncountable] the size or power of a piece of equipment, especially the engine of a vehicle an engine with a capacity of 1 600 cc See related entries: How machines work
  10. Word Origin late Middle English: from French capacité, from Latin capacitas, from capax, capac- ‘that can contain’, from capere ‘take or hold’.Extra examples I have worked in an advisory capacity with many hospitals. In my capacity as president, I would like to thank Jack for his hard work. She seems to have lost the capacity to enjoy herself. The mountain walk is well within the capacity of most fit people. The qualification should increase my earning capacity. The stadium was filled to capacity. The system was already at capacity. The theatre was filled to capacity for every performance. These questions are beyond the capacity of most students. This maths is beyond the capacity of most school children. a high capacity electric pump a total capacity of 10 gallons a total capacity of 50 litres excess capacity in the oil industry her amazing capacity for organization large capacity disk drives spare capacity in the health service the human capacity for compassion A habit becomes an addiction when it reduces your capacity to enjoy life. His capacity for learning languages astonished me. She was acting in her capacity as manager. The fuel tank has a capacity of 50 litres. They played to a capacity crowd. a capacity for hard work/​humour/​enjoying life/​learning languages/​love/​reflective thinking a hard disk storage capacity of 500 megabytes do something in a business/​judicial/​professional/​voluntary, etc. capacity in his/​her/​your/​their/​my capacity as chairman/​manager/​President, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: capacity

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