en·​abler | \ i-ˈnā-blər How to pronounce enabler (audio) , -bᵊl-ər \

Definition of enabler

: 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 As tech became more than an IT enabler, the CTO began to evolve into more of an external role, owning the technology aspects of the company’s customer-facing products and services (especially true in tech-centric firms but also other industries). Kris Fitzgerald, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Workplace technology is an important enabler that cannot be overlooked. Debbie Ferguson, Wired, 30 June 2021 EVs are set to change the course of global carbon consumption, and as such, lithium-ion batteries will be a key enabler of the journey toward future sustainability. Benedikt Sobotka, Fortune, 22 June 2021 Johar, a child of the old Bollywood, is both a casualty of this new time and an enabler, trying frantically to remake himself in the image of Modi’s India. Aatish Taseer, The Atlantic, 10 June 2021 Customers are demanding more information on ethics too and technological innovations are a critical enabler for doing so. Amy Nguyen, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Then Joe Biden won the election and named Merrick Garland his attorney general, so the Justice Department passed from the hands of Trump’s worst enabler to an actual independent-minded leader. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 1 June 2021 Instead, retailers should look to their own existing assets as a key enabler of more efficient experiences. Orlee Tal, Forbes, 25 May 2021 In 2016, her focus shifted to marketing operations as the enabler for how marketing gains that seat at the table. Forbes Partner Releases, Forbes, 25 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enabler.' 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 enabler

1615, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for enabler

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The first known use of enabler was in 1615

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enabler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enabler. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for enabler


en·​abler | \ i-ˈnā-b(ə-)lər How to pronounce enabler (audio) \

Medical Definition of enabler

: 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


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