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English definition of “capacity”

capacity

noun uk   /kəˈpæs.ə.ti/ us    /-t̬i/

capacity noun (AMOUNT)

B2 [C or S or U] the total amount that can be contained or produced, or (especially of a person or organization) the ability to do a particular thing: The stadium has a seating capacity of 50,000. The game was watched by a capacity crowd/audience of 50,000 (= the place was completely full). She has a great capacity for hard work. The purchase of 500 tanks is part of a strategy to increase military capacity by 25 percent over the next five years. [+ to infinitive] It seems to be beyond his capacity to (= he seems to be unable to) follow simple instructions. Do you think it's within his capacity to (= do you think he'll be able to) do the job without making a mess of it? The generators each have a capacity of (= can produce) 1,000 kilowatts. The larger cars have bigger capacity engines (= the engines are bigger and more powerful). All our factories are working at (full) capacity (= are producing goods as fast as possible). We are running below capacity (= not producing as many goods as we are able to) because of cancelled orders. He suffered a stroke in 2008, which left him unable to speak, but his mental capacity (= his ability to think and remember) wasn't affected.

capacity noun (POSITION)

C1 [S] formal a particular position or job: In his capacity as secretary of the residents association, he regularly attends meetings of the community policing committee. She was speaking in her capacity as a novelist, rather than as a television presenter.
(Definition of capacity from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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