noun abil·i·ty \ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

: the power or skill to do something

plural abil·i·ties

Full Definition of ABILITY

a :  the quality or state of being able <ability of soil to hold water>; especially :  physical, mental, or legal power to perform
b :  competence in doing :  skill
:  natural aptitude or acquired proficiency <students with different abilities>

Examples of ABILITY

  1. a young woman with many remarkable musical abilities
  2. a young woman of great musical ability
  3. She has shown some ability with foreign languages.

Origin of ABILITY

Middle English abilite, from Anglo-French, from Latin habilitat-, habilitas, from habilis apt, skillful — more at able
First Known Use: 14th century
ABILITIES Defined for Kids


noun abil·i·ty \ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
plural abil·i·ties

Definition of ABILITY for Kids

:  power to do something <The cleaner has the ability to kill germs.>
:  natural talent or acquired skill <great musical ability>

Synonym Discussion of ABILITY

ability and talent mean physical or mental power to do or accomplish something. ability may be used of an inborn power to do something especially well. <Many athletes have the ability to run fast.> talent is used for an unusual ability to create things. <You should develop your talent for writing short stories.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: -abilityPrevious Word in the Dictionary: abilimentAll Words Near: ability
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