What is the Definition of Capacity?


Capacity refers to the quality of being able to do something specific, that quality can fall on a person, entity or institution, and even on a thing.

That is, the ability refers to the possibility of an entity to fulfill a certain function in terms of its characteristics, resources, skills and abilities.

Referred to people, the term implies that a subject has conditions to be able to perform a certain type of tasks or functions, either because it is naturally suitable, in which case one would speak of a potential capacity or talent, or because it has been trained through education.

In this sense, each individual may have one or more capacities. For example: it can have analytical capacity, reflective capacity, physical capacity, psychological capacity, social capacity, etc.

Like a person, certain types of institutions or entities are trained to fulfill specific missions. For example: a company has a certain production capacity; A non-governmental organization has the capacity to act on behalf of a underprivileged sector.

There is also talk of seating capacity or capacity. For example: “This collective transport unit has a capacity of 30 seats.” “This concert hall has a capacity of 200 places.”

Juridical capacity

In law, the term legal capacity is used to refer to the possibility of carrying out certain legal actions, such as making contracts. There is also talk of ability to act .

Capacity in science and technology

The term applies to refer to a thing having sufficient scope or space to store or contain something, be it liquid, solid mass, energy, volume, etc. For each of these matters there is a scale of capacity measurement: square meters, cubic meters, watts, gigs, etc.

Therefore, in the scientific field it is normal to talk about:

  • Capacity units (volume);
  • Storage capacity;
  • Electrical capacity;
  • Heat capacity;
  • Cranial capacity;
  • Bearing capacity;
  • Toxic capacity, etc.