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 Without them, bombers would probably have to withdraw from the nuclear triad, removing a key capability—the ability to recall or cancel a nuclear strike—from America’s nuclear toolbox. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 7 July 2021 But capability, less intent, does not equate to danger. Time, 24 June 2021 Spears addressed a multitude of grievances during her address to Judge Brenda Penny, acknowledging public scrutiny surrounding her mental health, performance capability, and her estranged relationship with her father. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 June 2021 The appointment reflects confidence in Nadella’s combination of technical expertise, business savvy, inspirational capability, and dazzling financial results. Steve Denning, Forbes, 20 June 2021 Factors include genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk and variant risks. Julia Buckley, CNN, 19 June 2021 The Israel Defense Forces said their campaign, which included 200 hours of bombardment, had largely achieved the goal of sharply degrading Hamas’s capability. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 All of the iPhone 12 models come with 5G capability, which means faster uploads and downloads, plus the ability to experience new app features. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 20 May 2021 Fortunately, cars coming to our shores will have Apple and Android phone-mirroring capability, which will allow owners to mostly avoid VW's obtuse infotainment system. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 13 May 2021

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

Time Traveler for capability

Time Traveler

The first known use of capability was in 1587

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Dictionary Entries Near capability






capable de tout


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Statistics for capability

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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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.

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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