Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

capable

play
adjective ca·pa·ble \ˈkā-pə-bəl, in rapid speech ˈkāp-bəl\

Simple Definition of capable

  • : able to do something : having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do something

  • : skilled at doing something : able to do something well

Full Definition of capable

  1. 1 :  susceptible <a remark capable of being misunderstood>

  2. 2 obsolete :  comprehensive

  3. 3 :  having attributes (as physical or mental power) required for performance or accomplishment <is capable of intense concentration>

  4. 4 :  having traits conducive to or features permitting <this woman is capable of murder by violence — Robert Graves>

  5. 5 :  having legal right to own, enjoy, or perform

  6. 6 :  having or showing general efficiency and ability <a capable lawyer> <a capable performance>

ca·pa·ble·ness play \ˈkā-pə-bəl-nəs\ noun
ca·pa·bly play \-pə-blē\ adverb

Examples of capable

  1. <a capable and efficient editor>



Origin of capable

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French capable, from Late Latin capabilis, irregular from Latin capere to take — more at heave


First Known Use: 1579

Rhymes with capable


CAPABLE Defined for Kids

capable

play
adjective ca·pa·ble \ˈkā-pə-bəl\

Definition of capable

  1. 1 :  having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do or accomplish something <You are capable of better work.>

  2. 2 :  able to do something well <a capable actress>

ca·pa·bly \-blē\ adverb


Word Root of capable

The Latin word capere, meaning “to seize” or “to take,” and its form captus give us the roots cap, capt, and cept. Words from the Latin capere have something to do with taking. To capture is to take something or someone by using force. To accept is to take something willingly. Anyone capable of doing something is able to take on that task.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up capable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ