able-bod·​ied ˌā-bəl-ˈbä-dēd How to pronounce able-bodied (audio)
: having a sound strong body

Examples of able-bodied in a Sentence

every able-bodied young man in the village had been sent off to fight in the war
Recent Examples on the Web South Korea requires all of its able-bodied men to enlist by age 28 for 18 to 21 months of service. Anna Chan, Billboard, 25 Apr. 2024 The first step in such service is to enlist as many able-bodied adults as possible to begin ferrying slices and ice cream as quickly as they can be plated. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2024 Absent changes, many able-bodied adults will remain jobless, which is bad for them and our economy. Adam A. Millsap, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Hollywood has long cast able-bodied actors to play characters with disabilities and disfigurements. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 Kincaid says his previous football experience was playing defensive positions as an able-bodied athlete in high school. Chris Ochsner, Kansas City Star, 8 Feb. 2024 When the airfield was finally taken three months later, only 130 able-bodied soldiers remained of the 2,600 who had crossed into Burma in 1944 with Merrill’s Marauders, a fabled unit that was one of the forerunners of the Army’s Special Operations elite, the 75th Ranger Regiment. Trip Gabriel, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 In July, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp launched a limited expansion offering coverage to able-bodied adults earning up to the poverty line — $14,580 for an individual or $24,860 for a family of three. Jeff Amy, Fortune Well, 4 Jan. 2024 The singer/dancer — who was the first of BTS to enlist in the service required by all able-bodied men in South Korea — began with a sweet message to welcome 2024. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 2 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'able-bodied.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of able-bodied was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near able-bodied

Cite this Entry

“Able-bodied.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having a healthy strong body : physically fit

More from Merriam-Webster on able-bodied

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