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From Latin capāx (wide, spacious, large; capable) +‎ -ious. Displaced native Old English numol.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈpeɪʃəs/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃəs
  • Audio (US):(file)



capacious (comparative more capacious, superlative most capacious)

  1. Having a lot of space inside; roomy.
    • 1874, Marcus Clarke, chapter V, in For the Term of His Natural Life:
      The Malabar, that huge sea monster, in whose capacious belly so many human creatures lived and suffered, had dwindled to a walnut-shell, and yet beside her bulk how infinitely small had their own frail cockboat appeared as they shot out from under her towering stern!
    • 1904–1905, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], chapter 1, in The Case of Miss Elliott, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin, published 1905, →OCLC; republished as popular edition, London: Greening & Co., 1909, OCLC 11192831, quoted in The Case of Miss Elliott (ebook no. 2000141h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg of Australia, February 2020:
      “Do I fidget you ?” he asked apologetically, whilst his long bony fingers buried themselves, string, knots, and all, into the capacious pockets of his magnificent tweed ulster.
  2. Capable, able.
    • 1857, [Thomas Hughes], “The War of Independence”, in Tom Brown’s School Days. [], Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan & Co., →OCLC, part I, page 185:
      [T]he fresh brave school-life, so full of games, adventures, and good fellowship, so ready at forgetting, so capacious at enjoying, so bright at forecasting, outweighed a thousandfold their troubles with the master of their form, and the occasional ill-usage of the big boys in the house.



Derived terms