Definition of able in English:

able

adjective

  • 1[with infinitive] Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something:

    ‘he was able to read Greek at the age of eight’
    ‘they would never be able to afford such a big house’
    • ‘He may not have been able to afford the art at the galleries but he met the people who could.’
    • ‘The morning journey was relaxing and I was able to read a lot that will help me at work.’
    • ‘Mark has just started to be able to take a few steps but will never have full mobility again.’
    • ‘She was able to break free and punch one of the men when two passersby came to her aid.’
    • ‘They have roots in the area yet are worried they may not be able to afford to return to it.’
    • ‘When you add in council tax and other bills we know we wouldn't be able to afford that.’
    • ‘It is one thing to be granted powers, it is another to be able to use them effectively.’
    • ‘They are allowed one magazine and they might be able to earn the right to have a book.’
    • ‘We have had a really hard year and I would have never been able to afford to pay for it.’
    • ‘The dog is able to hear the owner through the speaker on the phone and can bark in response.’
    • ‘It seems just wonderful to be able to take pictures of anything you want and post it.’
    • ‘Participants do not need to be able to read music or to have sung with a choir before.’
    • ‘I saw this movie on t.v. years and years ago and have yet to be able to find it in a video store.’
    • ‘In some ways not being able to drive now is analogous to not being able to read a century ago.’
    • ‘They will be able to travel on one of the club's two yachts and its fleet of private jets.’
    • ‘They do not trust the sites as genuine and do not like not being able to see what they are buying.’
    • ‘So the limelight was off us a bit and we were able to prepare quietly and save our best for last.’
    • ‘It is not known if any of the riders will be able to compete at the top level again.’
    • ‘I hope you will be able to take a few moments to read the following and to add your name to it.’
    • ‘You need to have a strong squad to be able to compete in the top half of the Premiership.’
    allowed to, free to, in a position to
    capable of, qualified to, competent to, equal to, up to, fit to, prepared to
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  • 2Having considerable skill, proficiency, or intelligence:

    ‘the dancers were technically very able’
    • ‘Abler students would do well to supplement Post's book with Bell's ‘Elizabethan Women and Poetry of Courtship’.’
    • ‘He praises her uncomplaining acceptance of the restrictions and disregard she had to bear as a woman when she knew herself to be much abler than most men.’
    • ‘This will encourage children to work hard to improve in areas where they are less able.’
    • ‘Born into a noble family, Neroccio was one of the most able artists of late 15th-century Siena.’
    • ‘The country needs more able, less ideologically warped people in charge.’
    • ‘The translation was made by an array of the most able scholars and poets of the time.’
    • ‘I think she's the ablest person I ever worked with in public life.’
    • ‘This Club has lost one of its ablest, best-liked, and most beloved members.’
    • ‘Two of the abler young novelists of the time, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, were converts to Roman Catholicism.’
    • ‘Even as she got older and became physically less able, she was still as sharp as a button.’
    intelligent, clever, brilliant, talented, skilful, skilled, accomplished, gifted, masterly, virtuoso, expert
    proficient, apt, good, adroit, adept, qualified, fit, suited, suitable
    capable, competent, efficient, effective
    genius
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘easy to use, suitable’): from Old French hable, from Latin habilis handy, from habere to hold.

Pronunciation:

able

/ˈeɪb(ə)l/