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 Now his handpicked national doctor was being labeled an enabler of Trump’s false assessments. Washington Post, "Surgeon General Jerome Adams may be the nicest guy in the Trump administration. But is that what America needs right now?," 12 July 2020 Several Epstein victims have described Maxwell as his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming girls for abuse. CBS News, "Feds worry Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell is suicide risk," 10 July 2020 The balance constitutes red meat for the public and its enabler, the news media. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Apple’s chip transition will be a non-event for consumers," 22 June 2020 The founder and former chairman of L Brands, which includes stores like The Limited and Victoria’s Secret, Wexner was Epstein’s longtime friend and key enabler. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Letting Jeffrey Epstein’s Pals Off the Hook," 17 June 2020 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers large scale deployment of carbon capture technology a critical enabler of a low-carbon future. CNN, "Saudi Aramco exec: Capturing carbon emissions can help combat climate change," 10 June 2020 Trump’s enablers in the Republican Party will make sure of it. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Rudy Giuliani’s Bagman Lev Parnas Blows Up Trump’s Ukraine Defense," 16 Jan. 2020 One of Portland’s most prominent entrepreneurs has raised $7.7 million for his next company, a financial payments enabler called Sila. oregonlive, "Simple’s co-founder raises $7.7 million for new Portland banking startup, Sila," 8 Apr. 2020 The internet is no longer the essential enabler of the tech economy. Molly Wood, Wired, "We Need to Talk About “Cloud Neutrality”," 10 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More about enabler

Time Traveler for enabler

Time Traveler

The first known use of enabler was in 1615

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Statistics for enabler

Last Updated

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enabler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enabler. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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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