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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for enable



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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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web This homegrown pipeline of software engineers and data scientists can enable companies to meet their hiring demands more efficiently and cost-effectively, Hsu said. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "Forget resumes and LinkedIn. This tech firm finds talent in unexpected places," 2 Dec. 2019 Nomura’s renaissance reflects repeated cost-cutting drives and a recovery in investment-banking and trading revenue that enabled the company to report its highest quarterly profit in 17 years at the end of October. Washington Post, "Nomura’s Departing CEO Leaves a Work in Progress," 2 Dec. 2019 Both sides plan to lobby the Oregon Legislature in 2020 to write a new law enabling Happy Valley to officially withdraw from the county’s parks district. oregonlive, "Clackamas County, Happy Valley on verge of $14.3 million parks settlement," 1 Dec. 2019 The circuit first televised a hearing in 1991 and now live-streams all of them, enabling the public and the media to follow proceedings in Seattle or Hawaii without leaving home. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Federal-state split over cameras in courtrooms," 30 Nov. 2019 Wentz was unimpressive in a four-turnover outing that enabled a Seattle win last weekend and publicly vented his frustration. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Just how good is the 49ers' defense? Lamar Jackson is about to let San Francisco know," 30 Nov. 2019 That sends broadcast revenues spiraling, enabling clubs to pay for better players, who entice yet more fans to the stadiums and yet greater audiences on TV. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Families of Hillsborough Victims Are Again Left Without Answers," 29 Nov. 2019 Tiger Transit utilizes the technology of the Transit Visualization System, enabling fans to view the buses in motion and the routes in real-time on a map displayed on the Internet or smart phone. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Iron Bowl 2019: Complete fan guide to Alabama at Auburn," 29 Nov. 2019 The schools are using a professional learning communities model that enables teacher teams to meet together about students and teaching plans. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, "Court reports call schools' efforts 'admirable'," 29 Nov. 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.

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First Known Use of enable

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

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Time Traveler for enable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for enable

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Enable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enables. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for enable


How to pronounce enable (audio)

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


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on enable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enable

Spanish Central: Translation of enable

Nglish: Translation of enable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enable for Arabic Speakers

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