ability

play
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 ablete, abilite, habilite “suitability, proficiency, ability,” borrowed from Anglo-French abilité, borrowed from Latin habilitāt-, habilitās “aptitude,” from habilis “easy to handle, adaptable, fit” + -tāt-, -tās -ty — 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 -ablete, -abilite, -iblete, -ibilite, borrowed from Anglo-French -ableté, -abilité, -ibleté, -ibilité, borrowed from Latin -abilitās, -ibilitās, from -abilis, -ibilis -able + -tās -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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