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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Giants will be rolling out their health-clearance app, the Clear HealthPass, Sunday, which will enable fans to register ahead of time and fill out a questionnaire for quicker entry. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants spring training observations: Final touches put on Scottsdale Stadium as fans return s Sunday," 27 Feb. 2021 The multimodal features of these tools—which enable both video and text chat—give his students multiple avenues for learning, Skyer says. Sarah Katz, Scientific American, "The COVID Zoom Boom Is Reshaping Sign Language," 26 Feb. 2021 Groq has said the chip delivers 250 trillion floating-point ops per second (FLOPS), which would enable training at the edge and in data centers. Karl Freund, Forbes, "The Cambrian AI Landscape: GROQ," 25 Feb. 2021 The payments have taken various forms, from grants to new products like the Facebook News Tab or Google News Showcase, which enable the tech platforms to pay for some content on their terms. Keach Hagey, WSJ, "Why Facebook and Google Are Fighting Publishers Over Paying for News," 24 Feb. 2021 Researchers at the Oncode Institute in the Netherlands examined the spike proteins of the coronavirus, which enable the virus to attach to human enzymes. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Study shows why UK coronavirus variant more widespread than South Africa strain," 23 Feb. 2021 Those deals will be multi-year lump-sum payments which enable everyone to go about their business. Joshua Gans, Quartz, "Australia’s new rules for Facebook and Google are already backfiring," 19 Feb. 2021 The bill would prohibit Apple and Google from requiring apps to use their payment systems, which enable them to collect their commissions. New York Times, "Big Tech’s Unlikely Next Battleground: North Dakota," 14 Feb. 2021 Alaska officials Wednesday announced changes in vaccine eligibility timelines, which could enable some seafood workers 50 years in older to start getting vaccines as soon as this week, and others under a timeline that has yet to be determined. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska now to offer vaccines to non-resident seafood industry workers buffeted by COVID-19 outbreaks," 11 Feb. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of enable

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

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Time Traveler for enable

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enable. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for enable



English Language Learners Definition of enable

: to make (someone or something) able to do or to be something
: to make (something) possible, practical, or easy
technical : to cause (a feature or capability of a computer) to be active or available for use


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.

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