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

Doctors must be viewed as healers, not as enablers and practitioners of eugenics and, more specifically, of overt racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and disability discrimination. Bruce Schreiner, The Seattle Times, "Judge cautions lawyers to watch language in abortion case," 25 Mar. 2019 In other words, new construction has to be crammed into parcels already developed — or under-developed, according to real estate interests and their enablers in positions of compliant civic authority, not to mention pressure from the state. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: Get ready for the development avalanche to continue," 18 July 2019 But Trump’s scribbling enablers aside, Democratic voters don’t seem to mind. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How Old is Too Old to Be President?," 2 July 2019 During his heyday in the go-go 1980s and still-flush ’90s, Mr. Zeffirelli found willing enablers at the Met. New York Times, "Franco Zeffirelli Made Subtle, Striking Opera. Until He Exploded.," 17 June 2019 McConnell has been Trump's chief enabler since Trump became the Republican nominee, often refusing to call him out in no uncertain terms when the president has erred. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Amy McGrath fired first-day missile at her own foot, not at Mitch McConnell," 11 July 2019 The speed and relatively cheap cost of these operations has impressed Bridenstine, who sees the commercial space industry as a key enabler to accelerate the timeline. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "3 Reasons Why Today's Space Race Is Better Than Apollo," 24 June 2019 McConnell, Trump’s great enabler, faces little risk of being unseated in 2020. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Enemy of the State," 13 June 2019 The risk is that hard-liners in both Tehran and Washington become mutual enablers, going up a very unsteady escalatory ladder. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "After Placing Blame for Attacks, Trump Faces Difficult Choices on Confronting Iran," 13 June 2019

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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Statistics for enabler

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for enabler

The first known use of enabler was in 1615

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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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of or relating to the heavens

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