[ kuh-pas-i-tuh ns ]
/ kəˈpæs ɪ təns /

noun Electricity.

the ratio of an impressed charge on a conductor to the corresponding change in potential.
the ratio of the charge on either conductor of a capacitor to the potential difference between the conductors.
the property of being able to collect a charge of electricity. Symbol: C

Origin of capacitance

First recorded in 1905–10; capacit(y) + -ance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for capacitance

British Dictionary definitions for capacitance


/ (kəˈpæsɪtəns) /


the property of a system that enables it to store electric charge
a measure of this, equal to the charge that must be added to such a system to raise its electrical potential by one unit
Symbol: CFormer name: capacity

Derived Forms

capacitive, adjectivecapacitively, adverb

Word Origin for capacitance

C20: from capacit (y) + -ance
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

Science definitions for capacitance


[ kə-păsĭ-təns ]

A measure of the ability of a configuration of materials to store electric charge. In a capacitor, capacitance depends on the size of the plates, the type of insulator, and the amount of space between the plates. Most electrical components display capacitance to some degree; even the spaces between components of a circuit have a natural capacitance. Capacitance is measured in farads. Compare inductance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.