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 This degradation affects both the battery’s energy storage capacity (which dictates the car’s range) and its power capability, or how quickly the battery can discharge energy (and thus accelerate). Maddie Stone, Wired, "What Happens After a ‘Million-Mile Battery’ Outlasts the Car?," 11 July 2020 Testing demand surpasses capacity: The United States has vastly ramped up its coronavirus testing capability since the outbreak began, conducting nearly 15 million tests in June. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: July 6-7," 8 July 2020 Karen Fuller, director of network infrastructure and communications, said the district chose Chromebooks as their preferred device for K-12 students due to its touch capability, low cost, long battery life and security. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Cy-Fair ISD approves purchase of Chromebooks for virtual instruction in 2020-2021 school year," 7 July 2020 That doesn’t mean Onigod didn’t prove his capability against Toronto -- his Tracer play was quite strong to complement DoHa. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Era of the Genji: Why the current Overwatch League meta could be a boon for the Dallas Fuel," 2 July 2020 On the flip side, researchers don’t know if HEPA filters have the capability to rid the air of possible viruses before someone gets infected. Molly Longman,, "Can Air Purifiers Save Us From COVID-19?," 13 July 2020 Labs have worked to expand testing capability, but there are limits. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "'Pushing the boundaries': Long lines for COVID tests, stressed labs delay results as demand spikes," 12 July 2020 The Unlimited Starter plan is light on extras, with no HD video streaming, no international data, and zero Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Jeffrey Van Camp, Wired, "What's the Best Unlimited Data Plan?," 10 July 2020 It’s as soon as the Department of Public Works has the capability to do so. Allison Garfield, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Columbus, Wisconsin, leaders vote to remove statue of its namesake," 8 July 2020

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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Statistics for capability

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for capability


How to pronounce capability (audio)

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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