capacity - definition and synonyms

noun [countable/uncountable] 

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  1. 1
    the amount of something that can be put in a container, or the number of people that a place has room for

    There are plans to increase the capacity of the stadium.

    capacity of:

    The fuel tanks have a capacity of 25,000 litres.

    a theatre with a seating capacity of 800

    a capacity crowd/audience (=a very large crowd/audience that completely fills a place):

    The game is set to attract a capacity crowd of 42,000.

    1. a.
      computing the amount of information that can be stored on a computer or on a CD or floppy disk
  2. 2
    the amount of goods that a company can produce, or the amount of work it can do

    New machinery could increase our production capacity by 25 per cent.

    The plant has a capacity of 120,000 tonnes per annum.

    The present rail network has plenty of spare capacity.

    at full capacity (=producing as many goods as possible, or doing as much work as possible):

    The factory is now operating at full capacity.

    1. a.
      the amount of energy or power that something can produce
  3. 3
    the ability to do something

    Her poor health limits her earning capacity.

    capacity to do something:

    They are worried about their capacity to invest for the future.

    capacity for:

    Harry had a tremendous capacity for work.