ca·​pa·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce capability (audio) \
plural capabilities

Definition of capability

1 : the quality or state of being capable also : ability The mayor has demonstrated his capability to handle municipal problems.
2 : a feature or faculty capable of development : potentiality This vacant urban district has great capabilities.
3 : the facility or potential for an indicated use or deployment the capability of a metal to be fused nuclear capability

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Examples of capability in a Sentence

The device has the capability of recording two television channels at once. the nature of the tasks to which you are assigned will depend on your capabilities

Recent Examples on the Web

With an eye toward the future, Larsen invested in multiple jet dragsters (i.e., high-speed racing cars), e-commerce capabilities, and an entire racing team to create new sources of revenue. Alina Dizik, Good Housekeeping, "A Near-Death Experience Made Me Rethink My Financial Future," 3 Sep. 2019 Zelensky, a former comedian who won the presidency last month, expressed admiration for Israel’s defense capabilities during his swearing-in speech in May. Cnaan Liphshiz,, "Netanyahu wades into the debate on Ukraine’s Holocaust record in commemoration speech," 20 Aug. 2019 Choi Hyun-soo, spokeswoman of Seoul's Defense Ministry, said the exercises will be focused on verifying Seoul's capabilities for its planned retaking of wartime operational control of its troops from Washington. CBS News, "U.S., South Korea prep military exercises despite North's ire," 5 Aug. 2019 Companies and one environmental group have leaped at harnessing such satellite capabilities for industries and policymakers eager to pinpoint individual local methane sources. Jeremy Hsu, Scientific American, "Private Space Race Targets Greenhouse Gas Emitters," 31 July 2019 The retailer has introduced a collection of kids’ apparel that offers adaptive capabilities for those with special needs, the company shared in a statement. Jen Juneau,, "Kohl's Introduces Adaptive Clothing Line for Kids with Special Needs," 19 July 2019 The new, $31 million building represents a major expansion in capabilities for the facility, including for commercial ventures. USA TODAY, "Glowing rock fight, Statehouse stash, hometown hero: News from around our 50 states," 15 July 2019 The evolution of the arms-control regime taught us that grand strategy requires an understanding of the capabilities and military deployments of potential adversaries. The Atlantic, "The Metamorphosis," 11 July 2019 The official, who was not authorized to speak about the testing, could not say whether the anti-ship missiles being tested represent a new capability for the Chinese military. NBC News, "Chinese military conducts anti-ship missile tests in hotly contested South China Sea," 1 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capability

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capability

see capable

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Learn More about capability

Dictionary Entries near capability






capable de tout


Statistics for capability

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capability

The first known use of capability was in 1587

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More Definitions for capability



English Language Learners Definition of capability

: the ability to do something


ca·​pa·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce capability (audio) \
plural capabilities

Kids Definition of capability

: ability sense 1 That job is beyond my capability.

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Comments on capability

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


recurring in steady succession

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