Able meaning

ābəl
Frequency:
(usage problem) Susceptible to action or treatment.

The brakes were able to be fixed.

adjective
15
7
Susceptible, capable, or worthy of a specified action.

Debatable.

suffix
9
3
Having much power of mind; skilled; talented.

An able teacher.

adjective
8
2
Inclined or given to a specified state or action.

Changeable.

suffix
7
3
Capable of being ____ed.

Manageable.

affix
4
3
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That can or will.

Perishable.

affix
1
1
Having qualities of.

Comfortable.

affix
1
1
(obsolete) To give power to; to reinforce; to confirm. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 17th century.]
verb
1
1
Having enough power, skill, etc. to do something.

Able to read.

adjective
1
3
(law) Legally qualified, authorized, or competent to do a specified act.
adjective
0
1
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Tending or inclined to.

Peaceable.

affix
0
1
Having the necessary powers or the needed resources to accomplish a task. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
adjective
0
1
Free from constraints preventing completion of task; permitted to; not prevented from. [First attested from around 1350 to 1470).]

I’ll see you as soon as I’m able.

With that obstacle removed, I am now able to proceed with my plan.

I’m only able to visit you when I have other work here.

That cliff is able to be climbed.

adjective
0
1
Gifted with skill, intelligence, knowledge, or competence. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]

The chairman was also an able sailor.

adjective
0
1
(law) Legally qualified or competent. [First attested in the early 18th century.]

He is able to practice law in six states.

adjective
0
1
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(nautical) Capable of performing all the requisite duties; as an able seaman. [First attested in the late 18th century.]
adjective
0
1
(obsolete) To make ready. [Attested from around (1150 to 1350) until the late 16th century.]
verb
0
1
(obsolete) To make capable; to enable. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 19th century.]
verb
0
1
(obsolete) To dress. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 15th century.]
verb
0
1
(obsolete) To vouch for; to guarantee. [Attested from the late 16th century until the early 17th century.]
verb
0
1
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A word that is used in place of the letter "A" during communication.
noun
0
1
An adjectival suffix; forms adjectives meaning:
  • Able to be; fit to be.
    Movable: able to be moved.
    Amendable: able to be amended.
    Breakable: liable to broken.
    Blamable: fit to be blamed.
    Salable: fit to be sold.
  • Relevant to or suitable to, in accordance with.
    Fashionable: relevant to fashion.
    Seasonable: suitable to season.
  • Giving, or inclined to.
    Pleasurable: giving pleasure.
    Peaceable: inclined to peace.
  • Subject to.
    Reportable: subject to be reported.
    Taxable: subject to be taxed.
  • Due to be.
    Payable: due to pay.
suffix
0
1
The definition of able is to have the skills or strength to do a task.

An example of able is having the strength to lift a heavy box.

adjective
0
2
Having sufficient power or resources to accomplish something.

A singer able to reach high notes; a detergent able to remove stains.

adjective
0
2
Especially capable or proficient.

The new programmers proved to be very able.

adjective
0
2
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Worthy of being ____ed.

Lovable.

affix
0
2

Origin of able

  • ME < OFr < L -abilis

    From Webster's New World College Dictionary, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin -ābilis, -ibilis -ā- -i- thematic vowels -bilis adj. suff.

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin habilis from habēre to handle ghabh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English, from Old Northern French able, variant of Old French abile, habile, from Latin habilis (“easily managed, held, or handled; apt; skillful”), from habeō (“have, hold”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Replaced native Old English -bÇ£re (“bearing, making, worth"), from Proto-Germanic *bÄ“riz, *bÄ“rijaz; and -lic (“like, having the quality of"), from Proto-Germanic *-lÄ«kaz.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin -ābilis, from -a- or -i- + bilis (“capable or worthy of being acted upon").

    From Wiktionary

  • Not closely related etymologically, though currently related semantically, to able.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English ablen, from Middle English able (adjective).

    From Wiktionary

  • Compare German -bar, Dutch -baar.

    From Wiktionary