Space or quantity of matter that a container can hold.

In the international system, the unit of measure for capacity is the litre.
A measurement of capacity is a number that expresses how much a container holds.


The edge of this cube measures 1 centimetre (1 cm). Its volume is 1 cubic centimetre (1 cm3).
Its capacity is 1 millilitre (1 ml), because: 1 cubic centimetre is equivalent to 1 millilitre. Therefore, it can contain 1 millilitre of water.

The edge of another cube measures 1 decimetre (1 dm). Its volume is 1 cubic decimetre (1 dm3).
Its capacity is 1 litre (1 L), because: 1 cubic decimetre is equivalent to 1 litre. Therefore, it can contain 1 litre of water.


The unit of measurement of the capacity of a container is the litre (L or l when there is no confusion possible with the digit 1).

The litre is the capacity of a container that has a volume of 1 cubic decimetre.

Name Symbol
  Name Symbol
litre L dm³
decalitre dal decilitre dl
hectolitre hl centilitre cl
kilolitre kl millilitre ml cm³
megalitre Ml dam³ microlitre µl mm³
gigalitre Gl hm³ nanolitre nl

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