able
Pronunciation
  • (America) IPA: /ˈeɪ.bl̩/, /ˈeɪ.bəl/
Adjective

able (comparative abler, superlative ablest)

  1. (obsolete) Easy to use. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 18th century.]
  2. (obsolete) Suitable; competent. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 18th century.]
  3. (obsolete, dialectal) Liable to. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
  4. Having the necessary powers or the needed resources to accomplish a task. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
  5. 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.
  6. (obsolete, dialectal) Having the physical strength; robust; healthy. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
    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.]
    He was born to an able family.
  8. Gifted with skill, intelligence, knowledge, or competence. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    The chairman was also an able sailor.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Youth and Age. XLII.”, in The Essayes or Covncils, Civill and Moral, […] Newly Written, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, OCLC 863521290 ↗; newly enlarged edition, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, […], 1632, OCLC 863527675 ↗, pages 247–248 ↗:
      Natures that haue much Heat, and great and violent deſires and Perturbations, are not ripe for Action, till they haue paſſed the Meridian of their yeares: As it was with Iulius Cæſar, and Septimius Seuerus. […] And yet he [Septimus Severus] was the Ableſt Emperour, almoſt, of all the Liſt.
  9. (law) Legally qualified or competent. [First attested in the early 18th century.]
    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.]
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb

able (ables, present participle abling; past and past participle abled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To make ready. [Attested from around (1150 to 1350) until the late 16th century.]
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To make capable; to enable. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 19th century.]
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To dress. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 15th century.]
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To give power to; to reinforce; to confirm. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 17th century.]
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To vouch for; to guarantee. [Attested from the late 16th century until the early 17th century.]
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      vi
      None does offend, none....I’ll able ’em.
Noun

able (uncountable)

  1. (military) The letter "A" in Joint_Army/Navy_Phonetic_Alphabet.

Able
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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