ca·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce capable (audio) , in rapid speech ˈkāp-bəl \

Definition of capable

1 : susceptible a remark capable of being misunderstood
2 obsolete : comprehensive
3 : having attributes (such as physical or mental power) required for performance or accomplishment is capable of intense concentration
4 : having traits conducive to or features permitting something this woman is capable of murder by violence— Robert Graves
5 : having legal right to own, enjoy, or perform of my land … to make thee capable— Shakespeare
6 : having or showing general efficiency and ability a capable lawyer a capable performance

Other Words from capable

capableness \ ˈkā-​pə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce capable (audio) \ noun
capably \ ˈkā-​pə-​blē How to pronounce capable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of capable in a Sentence

a capable and efficient editor
Recent Examples on the Web Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket is planned to be the first of the company's rockets that will be capable of reaching orbit, a trek that requires speeds topping 17,000 miles per hour. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 23 June 2022 Hartzold, 27, never thought her body wasn’t capable of taking her up trails. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 June 2022 Ducks are what scientists call precocial birds — capable of feeding, swimming and walking soon after hatching. New York Times, 22 June 2022 Their behavior is especially aggravating to those who are capable of making similar choices but have not yet done so. Michelle Nijhuis, The Atlantic, 22 June 2022 The mill is mated to eight-speed automatic M Steptronic transmission that sends power to all four wheels and is capable of producing a very robust 510 horses and 479 ft lbs of peak torque, according to the brand. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 22 June 2022 Yeramyan explains that every person is capable of tapping into their inner genius and sustaining it over time. Forbes, 21 June 2022 According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, roughly a third of U.S. homes with children have guns, and even young toddlers are capable of finding unlocked guns and are strong enough to pull the trigger. Elliot Hughes, Journal Sentinel, 21 June 2022 Ukraine’s allies have issued a rallying cry to prepare for a years-long war in the country—with one prominent military official warning that Western countries must be capable of defeating Russian forces on the battlefield. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 20 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of capable

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capable

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French capable, from Late Latin capabilis, irregular from Latin capere to take — more at heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for capable

Time Traveler

The first known use of capable was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near capable



capable de tout

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for capable


ca·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce capable (audio) \

Kids Definition of capable

1 : having the qualities or abilities that are needed to do or accomplish something You are capable of better work.
2 : able to do something well a capable actress

Other Words from capable

capably \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on capable

Nglish: Translation of capable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capable for Arabic Speakers


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