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The ability, capability, or fitness to do something; a legal right, power, or competency to perform some act. An ability to comprehend both the nature and consequences of one's acts.

Capacity relates to soundness of mind and to an intelligent understanding and perception of one's actions. It is the power either to create or to enter into a legal relation under the same conditions or circumstances as a person of sound mind or normal intelligence would have the power to create or to enter.

A person of normal intelligence and sound mind has the capacity to dispose of his or her property by will as he or she sees fit.

A capacity defense is used in both criminal and civil actions to describe a lack of fundamental ability to be accountable for one's action that nullifies the element of intent when intent is essential to the action, thereby relieving a person of responsibility for it.

An individual under duress lacks the capacity to contract; a child under the age of seven accused of committing a crime lacks criminal capacity.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the ability of a person to effect a legal transaction. The paradigm natural person of full age and sound mind usually has full capacity. Others face limitations from time to time and system to system, such as, for example, the young, the mentally ill and corporations.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CAPACITY. This word, in the law sense, denotes some ability, power, qualification, or competency of persons, natural, or artificial, for the performance of civil acts, depending on their state or condition, as defined or fixed by law; as, the capacity to devise, to bequeath, to grant or convey lands; to take; or to take. and hold lands to make a contract, and the like. 2 Com. Dig. 294; Dane's Abr. h.t.
     2. The constitution requires that the president, senators, and representatives should have attained certain ages; and in the case of the senators and representatives, that out these they have no capacity to serve in these offices.
     3. All laws which regulate the capacity of persons to contract, are considered personal laws; such are the laws which relate to minority and majority; to the powers of guardians or parents, or the disabilities of coverture. The law of the domicil generally governs in cases of this kind. Burge. on Sureties, 89.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1990) Carbon monoxide diffusing capacity, other indices of lung function, and respiratory symptoms in a general population sample.
The major types of pulmonary function tests include spirometry, measurement of lung volume and quantitation of diffusing capacity. Measurements of maximal respiratory pressures and flow volume loops, which record forced inspiratory and expiratory flow rates are also useful in specific clinical circumstances.
High N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels and low diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide as independent predictors of the occurrence of precapillary pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with systemic sclerosis.
[19]), 2015 the absence of Number randomised: collateral 68 ventilation results in statistically and clinically significant improvements in pulmonary function, exercise capacity and quality of life RCT = randomised controlled trial; NA = not applicable; [FEV.sub.1] = forced expiratory volume in 1 second; 6MWD = 6- minute walking distance; SGRQ = St George's respiratory questionnaire; W=watt; FVC = forced vital capacity; RV = residual volume; [DL.sub.C0] = carbon monoxide diffusing capacity; SD = standard deviation.
Established [FEV.sub.1]%p Did Not Correlate with Extended Lung Volume and Diffusing Capacity Measurements.
Table-2: Spirometric, diffusing capacity and muscle strength measurements of the participants.
Spirometry results, lung volumes, and measures of carbon monoxide diffusing capacity had been normal in 13 of the soldiers, while another 19 had shown only isolated low carbon monoxide diffusing capacity.
Pulmonary function testing revealed very severe reduction in forced expiratory volume at one second ([FEV.sub.1]), air trapping and severe decrease in diffusing capacity (Table 1).
The diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) is invaluable when trying to determine the presence of vascular obstruction or emphysema.
(9) Methacholine challenge testing may be useful in this situation, and a normal diffusing capacity will rule out emphysema in current and ex-smokers.
Most of the mean values of gas exchange parameters were normal to near normal except for diffusing capacity of the lung.
The diagnosis of work-related bronchiolitis obliterans was made on the basis of history, fixed airway obstruction with normal diffusing capacity, and typical HRCT findings (7).