enable

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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

Did you know?

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 individualized approach enables educators to meet the academic, behavioral, social, mental, emotional, and physical needs of each student, fostering a safe and supportive learning environment. Hannah Nwoko, Parents, 17 July 2024 The latter option enables a cruising speed of 37 knots and a top speed of 45 knots. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 17 July 2024 This enables candidates who reject big money and opt to rely on support from the community to run competitive races with those who opt for traditional fundraising. Joanne Antoine, Baltimore Sun, 17 July 2024 That digital footprint enabled investigators to trace the killers' steps directly from the crime scene, back to Jimmy Rodgers' front door. Kayla Laine, CBS News, 17 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for enable 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near enable

Cite this Entry

“Enable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enable. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

enable

verb
en·​able in-ˈā-bəl How to pronounce enable (audio)
enabled; enabling -b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce enable (audio)
1
a
: to make able
glasses enable you to read
b
: to make possible, practical, or easy
2
: to give legal power or permission to

More from Merriam-Webster on enable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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