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 \-​pə-​blē \ adverb

Examples of capable in a Sentence

a capable and efficient editor

Recent Examples on the Web

There are great ideas here for dairy-free yogurt and ice cream substitutes, creamy vegan desserts, spicy curries, fish stews, and more, proving that this simple ingredient is capable of so much. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "19 Recipes to Make With a Can of Coconut Milk," 30 Nov. 2018 The batteries are capable of recharging at up to 160kW on a DC fast charger and are also equipped with an 11kW onboard charger. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Rivian debuts new US-made electric truck and SUV with 400-mile range," 28 Nov. 2018 However successful Russia’s meddling efforts ultimately were, their goal was nonetheless realized, whether Trump is capable of accepting it or not. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump: Russia Must Be Proud of Meddling," 1 July 2018 If successful, this particular Falcon 9 booster could be capable of flying a third time in the near future. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch and land a used Falcon 9 rocket," 15 Nov. 2018 According to reporting on the bomb from The New York Times, the pipe bomb may actually not be capable of functioning as intended, if at all. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Technology of Pipe Bombs and Suspicious Packages, Explained," 25 Oct. 2018 And not all eggs that fertilize are capable of making embryos that can make a baby. Horacio Salinas, Allure, "The Rise of Egg Freezing as a Fertility Choice," 15 Oct. 2018 The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. Jeffrey Collins, Fox News, "New military jet crashes, pilot ejects in S Carolina," 28 Sep. 2018 And these are often men who would call themselves feminists, who marry badass women, who raise strong daughters, and who are capable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes, except in cases like this. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Why We Have to Talk About What Happened in High School," 27 Sep. 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

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capable

The first known use of capable was in 1579

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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 \

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

What made you want to look up capable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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