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

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 towels also straddle just the right consistency between a too-thick bath sheet (not ideal for warmer months) and wafer-thin towels that aren't capable of soaking up much. Melissa Epifano, Peoplemag, 10 Aug. 2022 The robot, known as flippy, assists human chefs by flipping burgers and frying chicken, and unlike human chefs is capable of working for 100,000 hours without a break. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 These beams will be capable of shooting down threats in a new era when Russia is deploying supersonic missiles in Ukraine. Lee Roop |, al, 9 Aug. 2022 While not every mixer is capable of kneading bread dough effectively—many can become quite loud, shake violently, or overheat when working on dense dough—the best stand mixers will be up to the challenge. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Aug. 2022 Because their expensive lawyers explain that the judge will interpret serious dress as respect for the law, and that juries would feel that someone who defies dress codes might also be capable of defying the law. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2022 Additionally, the maximum amount of torque a wrench is capable of withstanding and exerting is heavily influenced by the drive size. James Fitzgerald, Popular Mechanics, 8 Aug. 2022 Security analysts have described the Yuan Wang 5 as a Chinese ship that is capable of satellite and space tracking, as well as monitoring rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches. Shan Li, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Even his allies wondered whether he was too driven by a need to be liked or his own personal political considerations in warding off a potential primary challenge from his left to be capable of the kind of ruthlessness that would be needed. Carl Hulse, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of capable was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near capable



capable de tout

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for capable


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

More from Merriam-Webster on capable

Nglish: Translation of capable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capable for Arabic Speakers


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