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

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 The Novelis plant in Alabama will have the capability to melt scrap, cast the liquid metal and roll new aluminum sheet for cans and autos, the company said. Bob Tita, WSJ, 11 May 2022 But the Pentagon assessed that Russian forces do not have the capability to launch a ground or maritime offensive against the Black Sea port. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 The Russian force, though heavily depleted by massive casualties in the first weeks of the war, still has offensive capability. Liz Sly, Catherine Belton, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 But past history suggests that Ukraine has the capability to sink Russian ships, and that Russia will deny this ever happened. Michael Peck, Forbes, 6 May 2022 There is no question that these two actors had the capability to lead a franchise and delve deeper into these characters. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2022 And there is no doubt that Russia has the capability, Holt said. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 25 Feb. 2022 According to the British magazine The New Statesman, there are only 100 record pressing plants in the world, and only 10 of those have the capability to press a large amount of records. Palak Jayswal, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Feb. 2022 First card: Russia has the capability to invade Ukraine. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of capability

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capability

see capable

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Time Traveler for capability

Time Traveler

The first known use of capability was in 1587

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for capability


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on capability

Nglish: Translation of capability for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capability for Arabic Speakers


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