Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Volume and Capacity

volume-pdVolume vs Capacity

If there are two terms in general science that are most often interchanged in use and meaning, it is no other than volume and capacity. To give you an idea of the real differences between these two terms, let us make a comparison of their definitions.

Firstly, to what exactly does volume refer? Whether something is a liquid, a solid or a gas, volume refers to the amount of three-dimensional space that it occupies. Some of the most common units of volume include cubic meters, liters, millilitres and cubic centimeters.

Secondly, capacity refers to the ability of something to hold, receive or absorb. It is similar in concept to volume, but there are a few differences. One good example to illustrate the difference between capacity and volume, is how they are used in sentences. Take a look at the following:

– The helium gas tank has a capacity of 12 gallons.

– The gas in our experiment expanded to twice to its original volume.

In the sentence examples, volume was used to describe the three-dimensional size of the object, which was gas. Meanwhile, capacity referred to the volume that the gas tank could hold.

Another example, is that capacity is the ability of a container to hold two cups of rice, while that same container may have a volume of 5 cubic centimeters ‘“ which refers to the amount of space that the container itself occupies.

To summarize, volume is the space taken up by the object itself, while capacity refers to the amount of substance, like a liquid or a gas, that a container can hold.


1. Volume is the amount of space taken up by an object, while capacity is the measure of an object’s ability to hold a substance, like a solid, a liquid or a gas.

2. Volume is measured in cubic units, while capacity can be measured in almost every other unit, including liters, gallons, pounds, etc.

3. Volume is calculated by multiplying the length, width and height of an object, while capacity’s measurement is geared more towards cc or ml.

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  1. The main difference between capacity and volume is that volume is a mathematical quantity (cubic length), while capacity is not. The capacity can change for a given volume, e.g. if you double the number of seats in an airplane, its capacity doubles, whereas the volume remains constant.

  2. This has helped me with my free throws. Can’t wait for 2013 season!!! All about the Championships baby!!!

  3. Thanks Peter! I know understand the difference between Volume & Capacity.

  4. That completely makes sense, thanks Peter!

  5. Thank you Peter for making it precise.

  6. Thanks, Peter for the clarification.

  7. There’s little better than a well written article!
    Thank you incredibly for this breath of fresh air, I enjoyed every second of the read.
    Will be eagerly awaiting your next post 🙂

  8. I thankful for above difference between value and capacity

  9. Did not help

  10. Great explanetion,thank you.Nevil A. De Silva.Act 5,2019

  11. Thanks for giving me this advise

  12. I still can’t understand the differences.Can you put it in another different way?

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