Difference Between Volume and Capacity


Main Difference

The main difference between Volume and Capacity is that Volume is a definite space of an object which it covers, whereas capacity is a measurement of an object’s ability to hold another substance.

Volume vs. Capacity

Volume is a definite shape of a substance which it covers; capacity is an ability of an object to handle another object in it. A volume is a place of an object in each space, whereas the capacity of an object means we can place another object in it. The full size of the container is called volume; on the other hand, capacity is the volume of the container. The volume’s SI unit is the cubic meter, whereas the units of capacity vary, such as liters, gallons, and pounds. Volume is a three-dimensional quantity, while capacity is not a three-dimensional quantity.


When the length, width, and height of an object is multiplied, we get the volume as a resultant. In contrast, capacity is geared up to cc and ml. Volume is denoted by V, while capacity is denoted by C. every object has volume. Every object does not possess the capacity. Volume is the character of solid and hollow objects. The capacity of hollow objects is measured easily. Volume is the specification of solid, liquid, and gas. On the flip side, the capacity is a liquid character.

Comparison Chart

The definite space that is taken by an objectThe measured ability of an object to carry a substance
Place of a body in spaceObjects in which we can place another object
What is It?
The overall size of a closed objectContainer’s volume
Cubic unitsVaried units
Multiplying length, width, and heightCc or ml
Every object has volumeEvery object does not have capacity
Solid and hollow objectsOnly hollow objects
Characteristics Of
Solid, liquid, gasThe character of liquid and pourable substance
Three dimensionalNot three dimensional

What is Volume?

Volume refers to the sum total of space held down an object. When a solid object covers a specific region, its measurement is called volume. It is defined as the total amount of anything that covers a space. It is just space that a solid, liquid, or gas substance covers. The full size of a closed container is called volume. When we multiply the length, width, and height of a substance, the result is volume. As it covers three sides of the surface, it is a three dimensional.

Volume is denoted by a symbol V. SI unit of volume is cubic meter (m3). The volume dimension is [ L3]. In the metric system, the unit of volume is liters (L), and one liter is equal to 10-centimeters cube. A small amount of volume is measured in milliliters (ml). However, a large amount is measured in megaliters. Volume finds its units in the traditional system as well, which includes a cubic yard, cubic mile, cubic foot, cubic inch, tablespoon, teaspoon, quart, gill, pint, gallon, minim, peck, cord, barrel, and fluid dram.

Fluid displacement is a method that is used to measure the volume of solid, irrespective of solid, is regular or irregular shaped. The volume of gases is determined by the displacement of liquid matter. When two substances are dissolved in each other, the combined volume is not additive. In thermodynamics and fluid dynamics, the volume is a primary element; its role is different in both branches. In thermodynamics, it is an essential parameter of the state function. Ideal gas law relates to volume, temperature, pressure, and ideal gases.

What is Capacity?

The volume or mass of a vessel is called capacity. It is defined as the ability of a hollow object to hold another matter that can be from any state of matter. It is an object in which we can place another substance. Capacity and volume are closely related but do not transfer the same idea. The interior of the container is its capacity, that interior is called volume. The available space in a container, in which another matter can be filled, is capacity.

When we fill the air in a balloon or a container, it adjusts in the shape of it. Suppose a water-filled tank, the volume is the space occupied by the water and interior of the tank, and how much water is requires filling the tank is its capacity. Capacity is measured in different units that include gallons, liters, and pounds. Capacity is the most relatable character of liquid and pourable substances.

Key Differences

  1. Volume is an actual definite space that matter covers, while capacity is an object’s ability to hold another object.
  2. Volume is the place of a body that is given space; on the flip side, the capacity of an object mean we can hold another object in it.
  3. Volume refers to the total measurement of a closed object; on the flip side, capacity is defined as the container’s volume.
  4. Volume is measured in cubic meters; conversely, many units are used for measurement of capacity like liters, pounds, gallons, milliliters, etc.
  5. Volume’s calculation is the multiplication of length, width, and height of the object, while capacity is mostly geared to cc or ml.
  6. Volume is the character of every object; on the flip side, every object does not possess the capacity.
  7. Volume is a specification of solid and hollow objects; on the other hand, only hollow objects have the capacity.
  8. Volume is a term applied to solids, liquids, and gas, whereas capacity is a term that has liquid specifications.
  9. Volume is three-dimensional, covers three sides of the object; conversely, capacity is not three dimensional.


Volume and Capacity both are the measuring quantities of matter. Volume is an actual space that an object covers and measured in cubic units. Capacity is the ability of an object to allow another object to hold in it and measured in different units.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss