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 Tonight: Someone might not be capable of reading between the lines., "Horoscope," 16 May 2020 Severe weather is unlikely, but the strongest storms will be capable of producing small hail and gusty downburst winds. Dallas News, "Rainy start to the weekend," 16 May 2020 Captain4430, Melbourne, Florida Many autopilot systems are capable of landing the airplane. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Can a plane land on autopilot in case of emergency?," 14 May 2020 The team have also developed a 120 kilowatt fast-charger, which Dr Onar says would be capable of wirelessly charging electric cars at a similar rate to a Tesla Supercharger, one of the fastest plug-in systems available. The Economist, "Cutting the cord Wireless charging of electric cars looks increasingly promising," 14 May 2020 Maybe that will be capable of partially assuaging theater fans in the same way that ESPN's The Last Dance documentary is currently filling the void left by canceled professional sports. Christian Holub,, "Broadway theaters extend coronavirus shutdown through Labor Day," 12 May 2020 Besides which, people are capable of making their own decisions. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Lockdown Extremism Is a Vice," 5 May 2020 Thomas is capable of starting right away and will help protect Tom Brady in addition to giving a boost to Tampa’s run game. 15. Arizona Republic, "Isaiah Simmons to Arizona Cardinals: NFL insider stays with Clemson LB in final mock draft," 22 Apr. 2020 The controversy over the use of drones underscore the uncertainty around a technology that's capable of gathering personal information. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Police agencies are using drones to enforce stay-at-home orders, raising concerns among civil rights groups," 3 May 2020

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

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce capable (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for capable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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