The difference between Ability and Capacity

When used as nouns, ability means suitableness, whereas capacity means the ability to hold, receive or absorb.

Capacity is also adjective with the meaning: filling the allotted space.

check bellow for the other definitions of Ability and Capacity

  1. Ability as a noun (obsolete):


  2. Ability as a noun (uncountable):

    The quality or state of being able; capacity to do or of doing something; having the necessary power.


    "This phone has the ability to have its software upgraded wirelessly."

    "This wood has the ability to fight off insects, fungus, and mold for a considerable time."

  3. Ability as a noun:

    The legal wherewithal to act.

  4. Ability as a noun (now, limited to, _, Scottish, _, dialects):

    Physical power.

  5. Ability as a noun (archaic):

    Financial ability.

  6. Ability as a noun (uncountable):

    A unique power of the mind; a faculty.

  7. Ability as a noun (countable):

    A skill or competence in doing; mental power; talent; aptitude.


    "They are persons of ability, who will go far in life."

    "She has an uncanny ability to defuse conflict."

  1. Capacity as a noun:

    The ability to hold, receive or absorb

  2. Capacity as a noun:

    A measure of such ability; volume

  3. Capacity as a noun:

    The maximum amount that can be held


    "It was hauling a capacity load."

    "The orchestra played to a capacity crowd."

  4. Capacity as a noun:

    Capability; the ability to perform some task

  5. Capacity as a noun:

    The maximum that can be produced.

  6. Capacity as a noun:

    Mental ability; the power to learn

  7. Capacity as a noun:

    A faculty; the potential for growth and development

  8. Capacity as a noun:

    A role; the position in which one functions

  9. Capacity as a noun:

    Legal authority (to make an arrest for example)

  10. Capacity as a noun:

    Electrical capacitance.

  11. Capacity as a noun (operations):

    The maximum that can be produced on a machine or in a facility or group.


    "Its capacity rating was 150 tons per hour, but its actual maximum capacity was 200 tons per hour."

  1. Capacity as an adjective:

    Filling the allotted space.


    "There will be a capacity crowd at Busch stadium for the sixth game."