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’
    • ‘A new technique enabled the scientists to better predict the severity of the next cycle.’
    • ‘The financing and grants enabled the cooperative to regain its license.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite the many luxuries and enabling technologies available to them, young people are becoming less happy and secure.’
    • ‘The evidence enables him to describe how individuals and even groups became ensnared.’
    • ‘When did we agree to laws enabling companies to fine workers many times their daily wage if they went on strike for a day?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The grant has enabled the purchase of equipment and the appointment of a research assistant.’
    • ‘The grant has enabled the school to purchase three new cookers and to cover the cost of re-wiring.’
    • ‘Technology is also enabling people with chronic illnesses to remain productive.’
    • ‘New 3D imaging techniques enabled the scientists to look for subtle similarities and differences in brain structure.’
    • ‘He said the grant would now enable the church to apply to other charities for money.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘TV receivers have a special control feature enabling all 758 channels to be played simultaneously.’
    • ‘The voice feature enables customers and representatives to engage in online, real-time conversation.’
    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’
      • ‘Combining observations made in living cells with computational methods enabled researchers to measure fundamental biophysical properties in living cells.’
      • ‘The event also enables people to share their ideas and work with the other groups taking part.’
      • ‘They also say that open source provides greater flexibility and control and enables faster, cheaper application development.’
      • ‘It would then be your duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable the individual to return to work if possible.’
      • ‘Accounts are expected to be available by next year, enabling a wide range of authorised providers to offer the funds.’
      • ‘New forms of citizenship and public life are simultaneously enabled by new technology and restricted by market power and surveillance.’
      • ‘The ability to tolerate high-fibre enables it to convert the grass into milk for its calves.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it enables people to spread rumors and untruths without accountability.’
      • ‘Varney said the fraud against the tax credit systems was enabled by illicit access to government payroll records.’
      • ‘The site is aimed at enabling people to practise their English language skills.’
      • ‘The merger would enable all the students in Swindon to be taught under one umbrella.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many courses now enable students to travel abroad in order to familiarise themselves with different perspectives on world history.’
      • ‘This structure enables hierarchies of management and also peer to peer management functions.’
      • ‘Their findings will be available within days enabling the lifebuoy committee to proceed with putting more buoys in place.’
      • ‘There are also 16 day-places at the hospice, enabling sufferers to chat with people who understand the trauma they are going through.’
      • ‘Both ends of the pipe were sealed and fitted with counter weights to enable it to float.’
      • ‘The technology enables a keyboard to be projected onto a flat surface using a beam of light, which can then be typed on.’
      • ‘Some chemicals will attack it, thereby enabling it to be etched.’
      • ‘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.

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


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