ca·​pa·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce capability (audio) \
plural capabilities

Definition of capability

1 : the quality or state of being capable also : ability The mayor has demonstrated his capability to handle municipal problems.
2 : a feature or faculty capable of development : potentiality This vacant urban district has great capabilities.
3 : the facility or potential for an indicated use or deployment the capability of a metal to be fused nuclear capability

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Examples of capability in a Sentence

The device has the capability of recording two television channels at once. the nature of the tasks to which you are assigned will depend on your capabilities
Recent Examples on the Web Its towing capability is similarly unassuming buy useful. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 5 Oct. 2021 This could negatively affect businesses and individuals, impacting their loan repayment capability and exposing Barclays to sizable loan losses. Trefis Team, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 The previously unreported exchange comes as the Biden administration is searching for ways to strengthen its capability to monitor and respond to potential terrorist dangers in Afghanistan now that U.S. forces have left the country. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2021 The United States with its extensive nuclear-shipbuilding capability spends more than $2 billion per new submarine, just on construction. David Axe, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 His substitutions were being queried, his choices questioned, his capability doubted. New York Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Axiom is charging $55 million per passenger on that flight, and SpaceX advertises its capability to fly orbital missions like Inspiration4, flights to the ISS and even missions farther out. Richard Tribou,, 17 Sep. 2021 One of the critical areas the Patriot Act focused on for the Secret Service was the formal expansion of its cyber capability from its fledgling Electronic Crimes Task Forces. Donald J. Mihalek, ABC News, 6 Sep. 2021 There’s also a wireless charger for your phone and WiFi hotspot capability to keep you connected. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 2 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capability.' 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 capability

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capability

see capable

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Learn More About capability

Time Traveler for capability

Time Traveler

The first known use of capability was in 1587

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Dictionary Entries Near capability




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Statistics for capability

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Capability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for capability



English Language Learners Definition of capability

: the ability to do something


ca·​pa·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce capability (audio) \
plural capabilities

Kids Definition of capability

: ability sense 1 That job is beyond my capability.

More from Merriam-Webster on capability

Nglish: Translation of capability for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capability for Arabic Speakers


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