Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kuh-pas-i-ter] /kəˈpæs ɪ tər/
noun, Electricity.
a device for accumulating and holding a charge of electricity, consisting of two equally charged conducting surfaces having opposite signs and separated by a dielectric.
Also called condenser.
Origin of capacitor
First recorded in 1925-30; capacit(y) + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for capacitor
Historical Examples
  • "Nice job these babies got," commented Gaines as he checked the capacitor circuits.

    The Small World of M-75 Ed M. Clinton, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for capacitor


a device for accumulating electric charge, usually consisting of two conducting surfaces separated by a dielectric Former name condenser
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for capacitor

"device which stores electricity," 1926, from capacity with Latinate agent-noun ending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
capacitor in Science

An electrical device consisting of two conducting plates separated by an electrical insulator (the dielectric), designed to hold an electric charge. Charge builds up when a voltage is applied across the plates, creating an electric field between them. Current can flow through a capacitor only as the voltage across it is changing, not when it is constant. Capacitors are used in power supplies, amplifiers, signal processors, oscillators, and logic gates. Compare induction coil, resistor.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
capacitor in Culture
capacitor [(kuh-pas-i-tuhr)]

A device used in electrical circuits. The capacitor stores an electrical charge for short periods of time, and then returns it to the circuit.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for capacitor

Difficulty index for capacitor

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for capacitor

Scrabble Words With Friends