capable

adjective ca·pa·ble \ ˈkā-pə-bəl , in rapid speech ˈkāp-bəl \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

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

capableness

play \ˈkā-pə-bəl-nəs\ noun

capably

play \-pə-blē\ adverb

Examples of capable in a Sentence

  1. a capable and efficient editor

Recent Examples of capable from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of capable

Medieval French or Late Latin; Medieval French capable, from Late Latin capabilis, irregular from Latin capere to take — more at heave


CAPABLE Defined for English Language Learners

capable

adjective

Definition of capable for English Language Learners

  • : able to do something : having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do something

  • : skilled at doing something : able to do something well


CAPABLE Defined for Kids

capable

adjective ca·pa·ble \ ˈkā-pə-bəl \

Definition of capable for Students

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

capably

\-blē\ adverb

Word Root of capable

The Latin word capere, meaning “to seize” or “to take,” and its form captus give us the roots cap, capt, and cept. Words from the Latin capere have something to do with taking. To capture is to take something or someone by using force. To accept is to take something willingly. Anyone capable of doing something is able to take on that task.



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