Hypertext Webster Gateway: "capacity"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Capacity \Ca*pac"i*ty\, n.; pl. {Capacities} (-t[i^]z). [L.
capacitus, fr. capax, capacis; fr. F. capacit['e]. See
1. The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or
space; passive power; -- used in reference to physical

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 undestanding 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, favars this; although it can not
be dented that there are examples of its usage in an
active sense. --Sir W.

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.

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 noral qualification, as of age, residence,
character, etc., necessary for certain purposes, as for
holding office, for marrying, for making contracts, will,
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}.

Syn: Ability; faculty; talent; capability; skill; efficiency;
cleverness. See {Ability}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: ability to perform or produce [ant: {incapacity}]
2: the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment;
"the capability of a metal to be fused" [syn: {capability}]
3: the amount that can be contained; "the gas tank has a
capacity of 12 gallons" [syn: {content}]
4: the maximum production possible
5: a specified function; "he was employed in the capacity of
director"; "he should be retained in his present capacity
at a higher salary"
6: (computer science) the amount of information (in bytes) that
can be stored on a disk drive; "the capacity of a hard
disk drive is usually expressed in megabytes"
7: an electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is
stored [syn: {capacitance}, {electrical capacity}]
8: the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability
to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
[syn: {mental ability}] [ant: {incapacity}]

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