Ca·pac·i·ty n.; pl. Capacities
1. The power of receiving or containing; extent of room or space; passive power; -- used in reference to physical things.
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 understanding 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, favors this; although it can not be denied that there are examples of its usage in an active sense. --Sir W. Hamilton.
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. Hamilton.
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 moral qualification, as of age, residence, character, etc., necessary for certain purposes, as for holding office, for marrying, for making contracts, wills, 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.