/keuh pas"i tee/ , n. , pl. capacities , adj.
1. the ability to receive or contain: This hotel has a large capacity.
2. the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained; cubic contents; volume: The inn is filled to capacity. The gasoline tank has a capacity of 20 gallons.
3. power of receiving impressions, knowledge, etc.; mental ability: the capacity to learn calculus.
4. actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand: He has a capacity for hard work. The capacity of the oil well was 150 barrels a day. She has the capacity to go two days without sleep.
5. quality or state of being susceptible to a given treatment or action: Steel has a high capacity to withstand pressure.
6. position; function; role: He served in the capacity of legal adviser.
7. legal qualification.
b. maximum possible output.
9. reaching maximum capacity: a capacity audience; a capacity crowd.
[ 1375-1425; late ME capacite capacitat- (s. of capacitas ), equiv. to capaci-, s. of capax roomy ( cap ( ere ) to hold + -aci- adj. suffix) + -tat- -TY 2 ]
Syn. 2. dimensions, amplitude. 3. endowment, talent, gifts. 4. aptitude, adequacy, competence, capability.