Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Able

A′ble

,
Adj.
[
c
omp.
Abler
;
sup
erl.
Ablest
.]
[OF.
habile
, L.
habilis
that may be easily held or managed, apt, skillful, fr.
habere
to have, hold. Cf.
Habile
and see
Habit
.]
1.
Fit; adapted; suitable.
[Obs.]
A many man, to ben an abbot
able
.
Chaucer.
2.
Having sufficient power, strength, force, skill, means, or resources of any kind to accomplish the object; possessed of qualifications rendering competent for some end; competent; qualified; capable;
as, an
able
workman, soldier, seaman, a man
able
to work; a mind
able
to reason; a person
able
to be generous;
able
to endure pain;
able
to play on a piano.
3.
Specially: Having intellectual qualifications, or strong mental powers; showing ability or skill; talented; clever; powerful;
as, the
ablest
man in the senate; an
able
speech.
No man wrote
abler
state papers.
Macaulay.
4.
(Law)
Legally qualified; possessed of legal competence;
as,
able
to inherit or devise property
.
Able for
, is Scotticism.
“Hardly
able for
such a march.”
Robertson.
Syn. – Competent; qualified; fitted; efficient; effective; capable; skillful; clever; vigorous; powerful.

A′ble

,
Verb.
T.
[See
Able
,
Adj.
]
[Obs.]
1.
To make able; to enable; to strengthen.
Chaucer.
2.
To vouch for.
“I ’ll able them.”
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


Able

ABLE

,
Adj.
a'bl. [L. habitis]
1.
Having physical power sufficient; having competent power or strength, bodily or mental; as a man able to perform military service - a child is not able to reason on abstract subjects.
2.
Having strong or unusual powers of mind, or intellectual qualifications; as an able minister.
Provide out of all Israel able men. Ex. 18.
3.
Having large or competent property; or simply have property, or means.
Every man shall give as he is able. Deut. 16.
4.
Having competent strength or fortitude.
He is not able to sustain such pain or affliction.
5.
Having sufficient knowledge or skill.
He is able to speak French.
She is not able to play on the piano.
6.
Having competent moral power or qualifications.
An illegitimate son is not able to take by inheritance.

Definition 2022


able

able

See also: -able

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

able (comparative abler, superlative ablest)

  1. (obsolete, passive) Easy to use. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 18th century.][1]
    • 1710, Thomas Betterton, The life of Mr. Thomas Betterton, the late eminent tragedian.:
      As the hands are the most habil parts of the body...
  2. (obsolete, passive) Suitable; competent. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 18th century.][1]
    • 2006, Jon L. Wakelyn, America's Founding Charters: Primary Documents of Colonial and Revolutionary Era Governance, volume 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, page 212:
      [] and for every able man servant that he or she shall carry or send armed and provided as aforesaid, ninety acres of land of like measure.
  3. (obsolete, dialectal, passive) Liable to. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][1]
  4. Having the necessary powers or the needed resources to accomplish a task. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][1]
  5. Free from constraints preventing completion of task; permitted to; not prevented from. [First attested from around 1350 to 1470).][1]
    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.
  6. (obsolete, dialectal) Having the physical strength; robust; healthy. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][1]
    After the past week of forced marches, only half the men are fully able.
  7. (obsolete) Rich; well-to-do. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the late 19th century.][1]
    He was born to an able family.
  8. Gifted with skill, intelligence, knowledge, or competence. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][1]
    The chairman was also an able sailor.
  9. (law) Legally qualified or competent. [First attested in the early 18th century.][1]
    He is able to practice law in six states.
  10. (nautical) Capable of performing all the requisite duties; as an able seaman. [First attested in the late 18th century.][1]
Synonyms
  • See also Wikisaurus:skillful
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English ablen, from Middle English able (adjective).[2]

Verb

able (third-person singular simple present ables, present participle abling, simple past and past participle abled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To make ready. [Attested from around (1150 to 1350) until the late 16th century.][1]
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To make capable; to enable. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 19th century.][1]
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To dress. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 15th century.][1]
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To give power to; to reinforce; to confirm. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 17th century.][1]
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To vouch for; to guarantee. [Attested from the late 16th century until the early 17th century.][1]
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 3

Noun

able (uncountable)

  1. (military) The letter "A".Wp

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: care · war · short · #391: able · five · need · met

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 5
  2. Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 4

Anagrams


French

Noun

able m (plural ables)

  1. A vernacular name of the common bleak (usually called ablette).
  2. A vernacular name of the moderlieschen, also called able de Heckel.
  3. (rare) A vernacular name of some other related fishes in the genus Alburnus (Cyprinidae).

Anagrams


Old French

Alternative forms

Etymology

Latin habilis.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /a.blə/

Adjective

able m (oblique and nominative feminine singular able)

  1. able; capable

Declension

Descendants