adjective \ˈā-bəl\

: having the power, skill, money, etc., that is needed to do something

: not prevented from doing something : having the freedom or opportunity to do something

—used to say that the quality or condition of something makes something possible

abler \-b(ə-)lər\ ablest \-b(ə-)ləst\

Full Definition of ABLE

a :  having sufficient power, skill, or resources to accomplish an object
b :  susceptible to action or treatment
:  marked by intelligence, knowledge, skill, or competence
ably \ˈā-b(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ABLE

  1. He will buy a new car as soon as he is able.
  2. He turned out to be an able editor.
  3. She is one of the ablest lawyers in the firm.

Origin of ABLE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin habilis apt, from habēre to have — more at habit
First Known Use: 14th century
ABLE Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈā-bəl\
abler \-blər\ablest \-bləst\

Definition of ABLE for Kids

:  having enough power, resources, or skill to do something <Are you able to swim?>
:  having the freedom or opportunity to do something <I'll come when I'm able.>
:  having or showing much skill <an able dancer>

Synonym Discussion of ABLE

able and capable mean having the power to do or accomplish. able may be used for someone who has exceptional skill and has done well in the past. <She is an able surgeon with years of experience.> capable is usually used to describe someone who has the characteristics suitable for a particular kind of work. <The recruits soon proved to be capable soldiers.>


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