capacity - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “capacity”

See all translations

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.
More examples

capacity noun (POSITION)

C1 [S] formal a particular position or job: She guides tourists at the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home in her capacity as a National Park Service ranger. 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)
What is the pronunciation of capacity?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “capacity” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

disappear off the face of the earth

to disappear completely

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More