enabler

noun

en·​abler i-ˈnā-b(ə-)lər How to pronounce enabler (audio)
: one that enables another to achieve an end
especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior

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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 enabler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead of launching traditional amphibious assaults, these nimbler groups are intended as an enabler for a larger joint force. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 This shift to at-home care should benefit UnitedHealth Group, which owns primary, hospice, palliative, and at-home care providers and enablers including Optum, LHC Group, Landmark, Summit Home Care, and NaviHealth. Will Daniel, Fortune, 27 Mar. 2024 Better for everyone, apparently, if the enabler distanced themselves from the addict and broke the chain of unhealthy mutual dependency. Elissa Strauss, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2024 Its eco-friendly nature, and potential to replace conventional ammonia production methods, make green ammonia a key enabler in the transition to a sustainable future. Starfire Energy, USA TODAY, 16 Jan. 2024 As part of a deal, federal prosecutors agreed to not prosecute him or his enablers. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 7 Jan. 2024 While some American officials continue to attack strong encryption as an enabler of child abuse and other crimes, a key European court has upheld it as fundamental to the basic right to privacy. Joseph Menn, Washington Post, 5 Mar. 2024 Technology isn’t just an enabler but a catalyst for business growth. Marco Costa, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 In addition, Google maps can calculate the best charging stops on long drives real-time, a key enabler for efficient EV travel over long distances. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 22 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enabler.' 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

1615, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enabler was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near enabler

Cite this Entry

“Enabler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enabler. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

enabler

noun
en·​abler i-ˈnā-b(ə-)lər How to pronounce enabler (audio)
: one that enables another to achieve an end
especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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