ability, capacity

Ability means the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to do something (ability to walk, to read, to pay a bill, to assess property). Capacity is the ability to hold, absorb, or contain (a bucket with a capacity of 1 gallon, a motel filled to capacity). Ability takes varied prepositions (ability in physics, ability with languages, ability at riding horses). Ability is often followed by an infinitive (ability to think clearly, not of thinking clearly). Capacity is followed by the preposition for (capacity for hard work) or of (capacity of 10 quarts).
     Ability is a more positive quality or attainment than is capacity. A person may or may not have the capacity to learn singing; after study and practice he may or may not have the ability to sing. Approximate synonyms for ability are competence, skill, aptitude, faculty, and talent.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ability — ability, capacity, capability are often confused in use. Ability primarily denotes the quality or character of being able (as to do or perform) and is applied chiefly to human beings. Capacity in its corresponding sense means the power or more… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Ability — A*bil i*ty ([.a]*b[i^]l [i^]*t[y^]), n.; pl. {Abilities} ([.a]*b[i^]l [i^]*t[i^]z). [F. habilet[ e], earlier spelling habilit[ e] (with silent h), L. habilitas aptitude, ability, fr. habilis apt. See {Able}.] The quality or state of being able;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -ability — [ə bil′ə tē] [L abilitas: see ABLE & ITY] suffix forming nouns a (specified) ability, capacity, or tendency …   English World dictionary

  • capacity — See ability. See ability, capacity …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • ability — See ability, capacity …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • ability — geba statusas T sritis Standartizacija ir metrologija apibrėžtis Galėjimas sukelti reiškinį, būseną, ypatybę. atitikmenys: angl. ability; capacity; power vok. Fähigkeit, f; Vermögen, n rus. способность, f pranc. pouvoir, m …   Penkiakalbis aiškinamasis metrologijos terminų žodynas

  • capacity — geba statusas T sritis Standartizacija ir metrologija apibrėžtis Galėjimas sukelti reiškinį, būseną, ypatybę. atitikmenys: angl. ability; capacity; power vok. Fähigkeit, f; Vermögen, n rus. способность, f pranc. pouvoir, m …   Penkiakalbis aiškinamasis metrologijos terminų žodynas

  • ability — geba statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. ability; capacity; power vok. Fähigkeit, f; Vermögen, n rus. способность, f pranc. capacité, f; pouvoir, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • capacity — geba statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. ability; capacity; power vok. Fähigkeit, f; Vermögen, n rus. способность, f pranc. capacité, f; pouvoir, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • ability — mokėjimas statusas T sritis švietimas apibrėžtis 1) Mokymo turinio elementas, apimantis teorinius ir praktinius veiksmus, kuriuos moksleivis turi įgyti, įsisavindamas tam tikro dalyko programą; 2) Išmokimo padarinys, pasižymintis gebėjimu… …   Enciklopedinis edukologijos žodynas

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