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

Examples of capable in a Sentence

a capable and efficient editor

Recent Examples on the Web

Rose was still capable of great performances, but injuries of all sorts have continued to bother him with the Knicks, Cavs and Timberwolves over the past three years. Tom Fitzgerald,, "Klay Thompson injury: How NBA players have returned after torn ACL," 15 June 2019 While algae are the base of the food chain for some fish, when these green plumes proliferate beyond what fish are capable of eating, their decomposition consumes much of the oxygen in the water. Tony Briscoe,, "There’s a giant dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico — thanks in large part to pollution from Chicago," 14 June 2019 Yorke is their foil - a powerful singer with a three-octave range who is capable of capturing any mood or emotion. Anne Nickoloff,, "Radiohead’s minidisc release includes version of ‘Lift’ recorded in Cleveland," 14 June 2019 When given a chance, Johnson is capable of guarding small forwards and power forwards. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "NBA Draft 2019: What if IU basketball's Romeo Langford is available for the Pacers?," 13 June 2019 The facility at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, would be capable of holding 1,400 kids. NBC News, "Federal government to use Army base in Oklahoma to shelter migrant children," 12 June 2019 The facility at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, would be capable of holding 1,400 kids. Fox News, "US to use Army base in Oklahoma to shelter migrant children," 12 June 2019 According to the Red Cross, someone needs blood in the United States every two seconds, and just one donation is capable of saving up to three lives. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Facebook's 'Blood Donation' tool aims to connect donors to banks in need," 12 June 2019 But Wood Mackenzie's report identifies about half a dozen companies that have proposed building new export facilities in various locations that will be capable of fully loading a VLCC. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Report: Port of Corpus Christi to become top U.S. crude oil export hub," 11 June 2019

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

18 Jun 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 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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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

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showing courage and determination

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