en·​able | \ i-ˈnā-bəl How to pronounce enable (audio) \
enabled; enabling\ i-​ˈnā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce enable (audio) \

Definition of enable

transitive verb

1a : to provide with the means or opportunity training that enables people to earn a living
b : to make possible, practical, or easy a deal that would enable passage of a new law
c : to cause to operate software that enables the keyboard
2 : to give legal power, capacity, or sanction to a law enabling admission of a state

Synonyms & Antonyms for enable



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Enabling: The Behavior of an Enabler

Enable has a number of senses, most of which are some variant on allowing someone (or something, such as enabling cookies on a computer) to do something. In the past several decades, enable has also started to take on a new associated sense in the field of addiction studies, where enabling is viewed as giving misguided support to a person with some substance-abuse issue. A person who facilitates the self-destructive behavior of another is referred to as an enabler.

Examples of enable in a Sentence

The machine enables us to create copies without losing quality. The system enables students to access class materials online. These choices are part of what enabled the company to be successful. a filing system that enables easy access to information Be sure to enable your computer's firewall.
Recent Examples on the Web This can be a little annoying to enable or disable, as it's done within the infotainment touchscreen under vehicle options, which can only be accessed if the parking brake is on. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 12 May 2022 Earls’ goal was to make shopping more convenient, along with reviving flagging commissary sales, to enable commissary operators to negotiate greater discounts from suppliers and distributors which, in turn, would be passed on to customers. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 May 2022 Brain-computer interfaces are ultimately going to enable a passage of information that goes beyond the limitations of the human body. New York Times, 12 May 2022 The elaborate rigging of a rope ladder to enable the mighty descent is voided of its physical details, its practicalities, its exertions, and, above all, of the intricate thought behind it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 That will allow Near West Side Partners Inc., a nonprofit group, to leverage an additional $5 million in private investment and enable construction work to begin immediately. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Plans are to integrate ioGates’ React cloud platform with LWKS’ Lightworks and QScan quality control technology, to enable remote file sharing, review and approval, and dailies workflows in the system. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 Fintech is technology used to support or enable banking and financial services. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 10 May 2022 Land swap would protect bison herd, but enable development on privatized BLM land outside Toquerville. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of enable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of enable was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enable. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for enable


en·​able | \ i-ˈnā-bəl How to pronounce enable (audio) \
enabled; enabling

Kids Definition of enable

: to give strength, power, or ability to : make able A good night's sleep enabled me to face the day refreshed.

More from Merriam-Webster on enable

Nglish: Translation of enable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enable for Arabic Speakers


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