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 The electric motor, which is capable of producing up to 201 horsepower and 236 ft lbs of torque, drives the rear axle directly, but can also direct power towards the front set of wheels when needed. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "Mercedes-AMG’s Beastly New Hybrid Electric Powertrain Could Deliver 800 HP," 31 Mar. 2021 The storm was monitored by weather satellites that are capable of recording a variety of things, including temperature. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Tropical storm shocks scientists by shattering record for lowest temperature on Earth," 29 Mar. 2021 The panel includes 15 jurors, 12 of whom will deliberate, with two alternates and one extra juror, who will be dismissed when opening statements begin if the other 14 are capable of serving. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "Derek Chauvin’s Trial for the Murder of George Floyd Begins," 29 Mar. 2021 Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a site at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399 in Chicago that will be capable of vaccinating roughly 1,200 people per week. Gregory Pratt,, "City to team with Chicago Federation of Labor to vaccinate up to 1,200 eligible union workers per week," 29 Mar. 2021 Cosmi is capable of starting at right tackle day one, but has the ability to protect Mahomes’ blindside eventually. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Mock Draft: Trades shake up first round," 29 Mar. 2021 The new building, at almost 90,000 square feet, is capable of accommodating up to 500 students. cleveland, "Richmond Heights will welcome first students to new $26 million upper school March 29," 27 Mar. 2021 But Pankey's lawyer says prosecutors will try to use it to make his client look like a person who's capable of murder. Richard Schlesinger, CBS News, "Former political candidate inserts himself into the case of a missing girl and ends up a murder suspect," 27 Mar. 2021 Officials said the county is capable of delivering 200,000 vaccination per week. Los Angeles Times, "‘Mad rush’ for COVID-19 vaccine is on for Californians ages 50 to 64 as expansion nears," 27 Mar. 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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 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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