ca·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce capable (audio) , in rapid speech ˈkāp-bəl \

Definition of capable

1 : susceptible a remark capable of being misunderstood
2 obsolete : comprehensive
3 : having attributes (such as physical or mental power) required for performance or accomplishment is capable of intense concentration
4 : having traits conducive to or features permitting something this woman is capable of murder by violence— Robert Graves
5 : having legal right to own, enjoy, or perform of my land … to make thee capable— Shakespeare
6 : having or showing general efficiency and ability a capable lawyer a capable performance

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Other Words from capable

capableness \ ˈkā-​pə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce capable (audio) \ noun
capably \ ˈkā-​pə-​blē How to pronounce capable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of capable in a Sentence

a capable and efficient editor
Recent Examples on the Web When presented with the opportunity, women are capable of amazing things. Mona Andrews, Forbes, "Women, Poverty And Opportunity," 12 Apr. 2021 Ossai is capable of making an impact as a pass rusher or an off-ball player. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Prospects," 12 Apr. 2021 The 600-watt motor is capable of blending a smoothie in less than a minute. Katy Severson,, "Countertop blender vs. hand blender: Which should I buy?," 11 Apr. 2021 Sharp added that although Parler was capable of being an effective platform for organizing and political debate, changing the perceptions of everyday users will be an uphill challenge. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Parler attempts to rebrand itself as nonpartisan and mainstream," 10 Apr. 2021 Severe storms will be capable of producing high winds, large hail and tornadoes. Adam Klotz, Fox News, "National weather forecast: Severe weather continues across South, eastern US sees above-average temps," 9 Apr. 2021 Lillard still believes the Blazers are capable of reversing that narrative but added that there comes a time when a team has to prove it on the court. oregonlive, "‘We get put away’: Portland Trail Blazers running out of time to solve issues against top-tier teams," 9 Apr. 2021 The home opener is Friday, a 1:35 p.m. matinee, and the Giants hope the familiarity will help generate an offense that did well enough to help eke out a 3-3 record in Seattle and San Diego but is capable of far more. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants home opener: hitters hope to regain groove in friendly confines," 8 Apr. 2021 Such vessels are capable of making long voyages and of taking the offensive independently and not simply as auxiliaries to a fleet of warships. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "War Under the Sea: PM at the Beginning of Submarine Warfare," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capable.' 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 capable

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capable

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French capable, from Late Latin capabilis, irregular from Latin capere to take — more at heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for capable

Time Traveler

The first known use of capable was in 1579

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Statistics for capable

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for capable



English Language Learners Definition of capable

: able to do something : having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do something
: skilled at doing something : able to do something well


ca·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce capable (audio) \

Kids Definition of capable

1 : having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do or accomplish something You are capable of better work.
2 : able to do something well a capable actress

Other Words from capable

capably \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on capable

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