enable

verb
en·​able | \ i-ˈnā-bəl How to pronounce enable (audio) \
enabled; enabling\ i-​ˈnā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce enabling (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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for enable

Synonyms

allow, empower, let, permit

Antonyms

prevent

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

How socio-economically, culturally, and in terms of societal hierarchy, there was a very specific dynamic in place that enabled revolution. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "David Oyelowo on Javert's Tragic Suicide in Les Misérables," 20 May 2019 Huawei is one of many companies with a stake in the race to deploy the next generation of wireless technology, and is currently one of the major providers of products that enable superfast 5G networks globally. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The US government’s ongoing battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained," 17 May 2019 As part of the campaign, Burt’s Bees has committed to support the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, which enables impactful biodiversity research and conservation efforts. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Rosario Dawson’s Beauty Routine Includes Masking With a Side of Meditation," 30 Apr. 2019 What’s most exciting to me is the developments in technology which will eventually enable the industry to become a circular economy. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Rachael Wang On Fair Trade’s First-Ever Lookbook, Activism and Sustainability," 29 Apr. 2019 The ThinkPad will automatically enable the privacy feature when the laptop can see anyone trying to read over your shoulder. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo puts AMD Ryzen chips in ThinkPads, giving Intel's rival a boost," 8 May 2019 But despite being over four decades old and surrounded by younger, faster and sleeker models, a series of upgrades have enabled the Tornado to stay on the front lines as a formidable and valued member of Nato’s arsenal. Mark Smith, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Panavia Tornado Is Such a Badass Plane," 10 Apr. 2019 By classifying lynching and attempted lynching as a federal hate crime, the bill enables judges to impose additional sentencing enhancements on top of any other charges when determining the punishment for those convicted of such crimes. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "By passing the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act this week, the Senate acknowledged its role in decades of racial terrorism.," 21 Dec. 2018 Perhaps that belief stems in no small part from the imagination that enabled people to see that any one of us might be rendered poor or ill or weak from a stroke of misfortune. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Notre Dame Is a Cruel Metaphor for Our World Right Now," 25 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of enable

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enable

Dictionary Entries near enable

en-

en

-en

enable

enabler

enact

enaction

Statistics for enable

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enable

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enable

enable

verb

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

enable

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on enable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enable

Spanish Central: Translation of enable

Nglish: Translation of enable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on enable

What made you want to look up enable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!