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 Compared to diesel engines, gas turbines are much lighter, smaller and capable of delivering exceptional efficiency in the right conditions. Ben Jones, CNN, 8 June 2021 That capital is geared towards accelerating development of the company’s Terran R rocket, which will be completely 3D-printed and capable of launching bigger payloads than Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket. Alex Knapp, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Maureen Dunn, of the county’s bureau of purchasing, said proposals were requested from vendors capable and interested in performing this service. Madison Bateman,, 4 June 2021 The Kharg was an oil replenishment tanker, built to enable smaller vessels to embark on extended deployments by supplying them with fuel and dry stores at sea, and capable of carrying large helicopters. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, 2 June 2021 Ironically, the result was not smaller government, but a Congress less capable of overseeing executive agencies and keeping them in line. M. Anthony Mills, National Review, 30 May 2021 The law represents a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s own rulings, which allow states to forbid abortions only after the fetus is viable, or capable of surviving outside the womb, about 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Steve Chapman,, 19 May 2021 However, 2020 models will be capable and powerful for years to come. Louryn Strampe, Wired, 17 May 2021 But can the Celtics return to playing capable and consistent basketball without the mental lapses and lack of effort stretches that have plagued them this season?, 17 May 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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 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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