Pronunciation: (ku-pas'i-tē), [key]
—n., pl. -ties,
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.
reaching maximum capacity: a capacity audience; a capacity crowd.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.