ca·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkā-pə-bəl , 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 \ noun
capably \ ˈkā-​pə-​blē \ adverb

Examples of capable in a Sentence

a capable and efficient editor

Recent Examples on the Web

The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and Should You See One?," 6 Feb. 2019 Fraxel Lasers like the Fraxel Restore Dual remain workhorses for ravaged skin, but new research is proving that these old tools are capable of new tricks. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "How to Reverse Sun Damage, According to Dermatologists," 16 Jan. 2019 Consisting of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together, the Falcon Heavy is capable of putting more weight into low Earth orbit than any other rocket currently in operation. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 But until recently, the company was only capable of launching the same vehicle up to two times to space — hardly enough to really capitalize on the whole reusability thing. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 The tabletop device is also capable of doing instant blood analyses like white blood cell counts and hemoglobin measurements, which could mean blood samples don’t need to be sent away to a lab. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "A Robot May One Day Draw Your Blood," 13 July 2018 That’s not to say Graham isn’t also capable of the spectacular. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Why 'simple' equals special in the new Charlotte Hornets lexicon," 8 July 2018 When the pavement ends, the Kona is more capable of light off-roading thanks to a locking center differential, which helps improve traction. Washington Post, "Edmunds compares Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport," 27 June 2018 Arrieta is perfectly capable of regaining his mastery in July. Scott Lauber,, "Should the Phillies be concerned about Jake Arrieta? | Extra Innings," 27 June 2018

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

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Dictionary Entries near capable





capable de tout



Statistics for capable

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capable

The first known use of capable was in 1579

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on capable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with capable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for capable

Spanish Central: Translation of capable

Nglish: Translation of capable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on capable

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very full or close together

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