enable

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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

Did you know?

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The Constitution does not empower executive officers to create inferior-officer positions absent an enabling statute. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 6 July 2024 Guevara’s knowledge of corporate law also enables businesses to enter new communities, helping local citizens and municipalities. Chris Gallagher, USA TODAY, 5 July 2024 In April, the FCC reinstated net neutrality regulations that enable greater oversight of internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and AT&T, fulfilling a signature pledge by President Biden. Eva Dou, Washington Post, 5 July 2024 They have even been observed using their flexible snouts as snorkels , enabling them to breathe while submerged. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for enable 

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

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near enable

Cite this Entry

“Enable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enable. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

enable

verb
en·​able in-ˈā-bəl How to pronounce enable (audio)
enabled; enabling -b(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce enable (audio)
1
a
: to make able
glasses enable you to read
b
: to make possible, practical, or easy
2
: to give legal power or permission to

More from Merriam-Webster on enable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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