Definition of enable in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something.

    with object and infinitive ‘the evidence would enable us to arrive at firm conclusions’
    • ‘Despite the many luxuries and enabling technologies available to them, young people are becoming less happy and secure.’
    • ‘The voice feature enables customers and representatives to engage in online, real-time conversation.’
    • ‘A new technique enabled the scientists to better predict the severity of the next cycle.’
    • ‘Technology is also enabling people with chronic illnesses to remain productive.’
    • ‘The Applicant admits that he signed the consent form enabling Mr Jones to apply on his behalf.’
    • ‘The availability of the required permit forms enabled the transportation of susceptible animals direct to slaughter to be resumed.’
    • ‘New 3D imaging techniques enabled the scientists to look for subtle similarities and differences in brain structure.’
    • ‘She says they are sending her a letter of authority to enable her to accompany the deceased back to China.’
    • ‘He had the ear of the King and managed to secure a grant, enabling the poor cobbler's son from Odense to attend grammar school.’
    • ‘TV receivers have a special control feature enabling all 758 channels to be played simultaneously.’
    • ‘The grant has enabled the purchase of equipment and the appointment of a research assistant.’
    • ‘It must mean also that it has obtained whatever consents are needed to enable an assignment of rights to be effective.’
    • ‘The system enables a single operator to monitor and operate up to three systems.’
    • ‘New methods enable fast, accurate identification of potential problems in clinical performance - and areas of high achievement.’
    • ‘Integrated identity management software enables customers to tighten security and reduce costs while efficiently solving this complex IT problem.’
    • ‘The financing and grants enabled the cooperative to regain its license.’
    • ‘The evidence enables him to describe how individuals and even groups became ensnared.’
    • ‘He said the grant would now enable the church to apply to other charities for money.’
    • ‘The grant has enabled the school to purchase three new cookers and to cover the cost of re-wiring.’
    • ‘When did we agree to laws enabling companies to fine workers many times their daily wage if they went on strike for a day?’
    authorize, sanction, warrant, license, qualify, allow, permit, entitle, empower, accredit, legalize, validate
    allow, permit, let, give the means to, give the resources to, equip, prepare, facilitate, capacitate, fit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make possible.
      ‘a number of courses are available to enable an understanding of a broad range of issues’
      • ‘They also say that open source provides greater flexibility and control and enables faster, cheaper application development.’
      • ‘Both ends of the pipe were sealed and fitted with counter weights to enable it to float.’
      • ‘It would then be your duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable the individual to return to work if possible.’
      • ‘The technology enables a keyboard to be projected onto a flat surface using a beam of light, which can then be typed on.’
      • ‘Their findings will be available within days enabling the lifebuoy committee to proceed with putting more buoys in place.’
      • ‘The site is aimed at enabling people to practise their English language skills.’
      • ‘There are also 16 day-places at the hospice, enabling sufferers to chat with people who understand the trauma they are going through.’
      • ‘Varney said the fraud against the tax credit systems was enabled by illicit access to government payroll records.’
      • ‘New forms of citizenship and public life are simultaneously enabled by new technology and restricted by market power and surveillance.’
      • ‘Many courses now enable students to travel abroad in order to familiarise themselves with different perspectives on world history.’
      • ‘The event also enables people to share their ideas and work with the other groups taking part.’
      • ‘The ability to tolerate high-fibre enables it to convert the grass into milk for its calves.’
      • ‘Some chemicals will attack it, thereby enabling it to be etched.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it enables people to spread rumors and untruths without accountability.’
      • ‘A supply chain is a mechanism that enables products to be available in the right amount, at the right place and time.’
      • ‘Their new home will have specially adapted rooms built to enable Phoebe to live as full a life as possible.’
      • ‘Accounts are expected to be available by next year, enabling a wide range of authorised providers to offer the funds.’
      • ‘The merger would enable all the students in Swindon to be taught under one umbrella.’
      • ‘This structure enables hierarchies of management and also peer to peer management functions.’
      • ‘Combining observations made in living cells with computational methods enabled researchers to measure fundamental biophysical properties in living cells.’
      • ‘Surely the point of having a personal blog is to enable people to read the author's work?’
      allow, permit, give permission to, give leave to, authorize, sanction, grant, grant the right to, warrant, license, empower, entitle
      View synonyms
  • 2Computing
    Make (a device or system) operational; activate.

    • ‘A Free mode only shows those APs that have no security enabled whilst the D mode locks on to the selected AP and periodically keeps track of it.’
    • ‘This immediately enabled all services on that network to the outside world.’
    • ‘So far as we could gather, the Net service is enabled by default and has to be switched off in BIOS setup.’
    • ‘You do need to have cookies enabled on your web browser to access the Members Only section.’
    • ‘Infecting an average Windows machine is fairly trivial, as most people have ActiveX and Java enabled.’
    • ‘I have javascript enabled on this Windows 95 Netscape 4.6 browser but no forms for annotation appear when I log on to the site.’
    • ‘Please note that you must have popup windows and JavaScript enabled in your browser to see these.’
    • ‘But this service is not enabled by default, hence the relatively low risk.’
    • ‘The chips will not have Hyper-Threading technology enabled.’
    • ‘However, the fact that you haven't enabled this service doesn't necessarily mean you're safe if you have an OEM box.’
    • ‘The problem was that no one really needed Internet Printing services enabled by default.’
    • ‘Just make sure you have java installed and enabled.’
    • ‘Click for our special Xmas card (if you have Java enabled on your browser).’
    • ‘Now, with a P2P system fully enabled, they can offer that functionality with iron-clad security.’
    • ‘This means that memory overflow viruses will not affect a system with EVP enabled.’
    • ‘In doing so, Northern Ireland has become the first UK region outside of London to have every one of its exchanges enabled for broadband.’
    • ‘It's unlikely that you've got this service enabled without knowing it, but not impossible.’
    • ‘What really irks me, though, is having to manually enable all these high-tech marvels.’
    • ‘On the new address I have very strong spam filtering enabled at the ISP end, and almost none gets through to me.’
    • ‘Yet service providers are relatively constrained when it comes to enabling Ethernet services.’
    1. 2.1as adjective, in combination -enabled Adapted for use with the specified application or system.
      ‘WAP-enabled mobile phones’
      • ‘Anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled computer or PDA can access the Internet within the zone.’
      • ‘I cannot recall ever using my Wi-Fi enabled laptop in a public library.’
      • ‘As mentioned however, you can exchange information with any other Bluetooth enabled device.’
      • ‘If your computer is not JavaScript enabled, click the launch link and you will be taken automatically to a version which does not use javascript.’
      • ‘Another participant, wanted to know the scope of information technology enabled services in India.’
      • ‘Passengers can connect through ordinary Wi-Fi enabled laptops.’
      • ‘Well these Wi-Fi enabled cameras are certainly catching on.’
      • ‘At the moment our exchange is not ADSL enabled, which I find surprising as we're not exactly in the middle of nowhere!’
      • ‘The service is available to business travellers with wireless Internet enabled laptop computer or PDA.’
      • ‘The idea behind the internet enabled fridge was that you could tell, without opening the fridge door, whether you needed to buy more milk.’


Late Middle English (formerly also as inable): from en-, in-, + able.