enable

verb
en·​able | \ i-ˈnā-bəl \
enabled; enabling\ i-​ˈnā-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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

Synonyms

allow, empower, let, permit

Antonyms

prevent

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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

Support for an artist's work and ensuing continued fame enables predators to skirt the law. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "R. Kelly Docuseries Reminds Us That Not All Stories of Sexual Assault Are Treated Equally," 11 Jan. 2019 The true benefit lies in enabling bioengineers to build more complicated and sophisticated nano machines that can be reconfigured at will. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Caltech scientists use DNA tiles to play tic-tac-toe at the nanoscale," 29 Dec. 2018 Technology companies need to be held accountable for enabling the Chinese government’s abuses or advancing its surveillance goals. Maya Wang, WSJ, "China’s Bumbling Police State," 26 Dec. 2018 Soon after President Trump won the 2016 election, Facebook was criticized for enabling the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform, which many believed helped Trump’s campaign. Anna North, Vox, "How Facebook’s scandals are hurting Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In brand," 17 Dec. 2018 Federal investigators determined the fatal crash could have been avoided had the vehicle’s automatic emergency brakes been enabled. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Uber," 29 Dec. 2018 The ads for legal hookups, dates, one-night stands, and relationships that sites like Craigslist enabled have all been silenced. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Our favorite (and least favorite) tech of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 mobile processor offers a ton of new features that could be potentially enabled on next-generation smartphones—almost too many to list. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Watch the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855's best new features in action," 6 Dec. 2018 Global Girls Alliance is also partnering with GoFundMe to create a fundraising platform that will vet specific programs and enable people to give directly to the project of their choice. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Is Back and Doing What She Does Best—Standing up for Girls," 11 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near enable

en-

-en

en

enable

enabler

enact

enaction

Statistics for enable

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enable

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

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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

: to cause (a feature or capability of a computer) to be active or available for use

enable

verb
en·​able | \ i-ˈnā-bəl \
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

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

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