ca·​pa·​bil·​i·​ty ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce capability (audio)
plural capabilities
: the quality or state of being capable
also : ability
The mayor has demonstrated his capability to handle municipal problems.
: a feature or faculty capable of development : potentiality
This vacant urban district has great capabilities.
: 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 Northland Boulevard plant has the capability to make 50 million soft pretzels a year, according to a 2017 Enquirer report. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 9 Sep. 2023 Still, the capability of starting quickly is there for both teams and delivering an early punch to gain momentum could be a determining factor in Sunday’s contest. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023 This pillow by Coop won our vote for best overall because of not only its cooling capabilities but also its customization features. Olivia Avitt, Peoplemag, 9 Sep. 2023 But since then, Chinese tech giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) achieved an important milestone by creating an advanced 7-nanometer processor that nears the capabilities of some of the West’s best chips to power Huawei’s latest smartphone. Bywill Daniel, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 Huawei has been low key about the device, but its capabilities have raised concerns that China has been able to circumvent U.S. curbs on Huawei that stop it from acquiring high tech components like advanced processor chips that had effectively crippled its smartphone business. CBS News, 8 Sep. 2023 This remodel changes the capabilities of the main room to fix that. Maryalice Parks, ABC News, 8 Sep. 2023 In June, Japan adopted its first space security blueprint to improve its defensive capabilities and information-gathering systems using space technology. Julia Mio Inuma, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 The remaining Challenger 2s in Ukraine's 82nd brigade seem likely to see much intense fighting ahead of them this Fall in which their superior offensive and defensive capabilities will continue to be of value to Kyiv's counteroffensive. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see capable

First Known Use

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of capability was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near capability

Cite this Entry

“Capability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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