ability

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noun abil·i·ty \ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Definition of ability

plural

abilities

  1. 1a :  the quality or state of being able the ability of the soil to hold water; especially :  physical, mental, or legal power to do something a writer's ability to engage the reader's interest did the work to the best of her ability [=as well as she could]b :  competence in doing something :  skill artistic abilities

  2. 2 :  natural aptitude or acquired proficiency students with different abilities

Examples of ability in a sentence

  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 and Etymology of ability

Middle English abilite, from Anglo-French, from Latin habilitat-, habilitas, from habilis apt, skillful — more at able


First Known Use: 14th century


-ability

noun suffix abil·i·ty
variants: or less commonly

-ibility

Definition of -ability

  1. :  capacity, fitness, or tendency to act or be acted on in a (specified) way agglutinability

Origin and Etymology of -ability

Middle English -abilite, -ibilite, from Anglo-French -abilité, -ibilité, from Latin -abilitas, -ibilitas, from -abilis, -ibilis -able + -tas -ty



ABILITY Defined for English Language Learners


-ability

noun suffix abil·i·ty

Definition of -ability for English Language Learners

  • : ability, fitness, or likeliness to act or be acted on in (such) a way


ABILITY Defined for Kids

ability

play
noun abil·i·ty \ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Definition of ability for Students

plural

abilities

  1. 1 :  power to do something The cleaner has the ability to kill germs.

  2. 2 :  natural talent or acquired skill great musical ability


-ability

noun suffix -abil·i·ty \ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
variants: also

-ibility

\ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Definition of -ability for Students

plural

-abilities

also

-ibilities

  1. :  ability, fitness, or likeliness to act or be acted upon in (such) a way capability visibility



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