Definition of able
1a : having sufficient power, skill, or resources to do something able to solve a problemb : having the freedom or opportunity to do something hopes to be able to visit soonc : having a quality or nature that makes something possible a car able to hold five people : susceptible to some action or treatment a shoe able to be repaired
ablyplay \ˈā-b(ə-)lē\ adverb a task performed ably
Examples of able in a Sentence
He will buy a new car as soon as he is able.
He turned out to be an able editor.
She is one of the ablest lawyers in the firm.
Recent Examples of able from the Web
And in a grim calculation, India, with four times Pakistan’s territory, sees itself as better able to absorb a nuclear strike.
The Hammond Police Department was investigating the shooting, but officials from the department weren't immediately able to be reached for comment.
The woman left the home before police arrived, but officers were able to locate the car the woman drove.
The chorus members were also able to relax at times and enjoy varied sights including the Tuscan wine country, the city of Sienna, and the canals and opera house in Venice.
James Rouse planned this city as a place where people of different backgrounds with different levels of wealth should be able to live, work and play together as equals, and enjoy the community that neighborhoods provide.
This much everyone should be able to agree on: the planet is warming, for whatever reason, and the Arctic is warming twice as fast as most of the rest of the world.
And despite the seemingly growing odds that McConnell won’t be able to pass an Obamacare repeal bill with just Republican votes, not even Collins is ruling him out.
Whatever the label, Trump proved to be an able messenger.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'able.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of able
Middle English able, abill, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin habilis “easily handled or adjusted, adaptable,” from habēre “to have, hold” + -ilis, alteration (by haplology before labial consonants) of -ibilis -ible — more at 1give
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of -able
1 : capable of, fit for, or worthy of (being so acted upon or toward) —chiefly in adjectives derived from verbs breakable collectible
2 : tending, given, or liable to agreeable perishable
-ablyor less commonly
Origin and Etymology of -able
Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French and Middle French, going back to Latin -ābilis, -ibilis, from -ā-, -i- (thematic vowels of various conjugations of verbs) + -bilis “capable (of acting) or worthy of (being acted upon),” going back to pre-Latin *-dhl-is, adjective suffix formed from the instrumental noun suffix *-dhl-om (whence Latin -bulum)
ABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of -able for English Language Learners
: fit for or worthy of being
: likely to or capable of
: having a certain quality
ABLE Defined for Kids
Definition of able for Students
1 : having enough power, resources, or skill to do something Are you able to swim?
2 : having the freedom or opportunity to do something I'll come when I'm able.
3 : having or showing much skill an able dancer
Definition of -able for Students
1 : capable of, fit for, or worthy of being lovable flexible
2 : tending or likely to changeable
-ibly\ə-blē\ adverb suffix adorably
Legal Definition of able
1 : possessed of needed powers or of needed resources to accomplish an objective able to perform under the contract
2 : having freedom from restriction or obligation or from conditions preventing an action able to vote
3 : legally qualified : possessed of legal competence able to inherit property
Seen and Heard
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