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ability Syllabification: a·bil·i·ty
Pronunciation: /əˈbilədē/

Definition of ability in English:

noun (plural abilities)

1 [in singular, with infinitive] Possession of the means or skill to do something: the manager had lost his ability to motivate the players they’ll examine your ability to pay
More example sentences
  • All you are paying for is the ability to say that you've seen it early.
  • Britain should adopt a graduated income tax based on the ability to pay.
  • Finally, a more equal system of registration fees should be introduced, based on the ability to pay.
capacity, capability, potential, potentiality, power, faculty, aptness, facility;
wherewithal, means
2Talent, skill, or proficiency in a particular area: a man of exceptional ability students of all abilities
More example sentences
  • She utilized her resources to the best of her ability.
  • I'd never seen her in a show before, so I had no idea the extent of her ability.
  • It is a mark of her ability that the player has managed to remain in the world's top five despite the injuries.
talent, skill, expertise, adeptness, aptitude, skillfulness, savoir faire, prowess, mastery, accomplishment;
competence, proficiency;
dexterity, adroitness, deftness, cleverness, flair, finesse, gift, knack, genius;
qualification, resources
informal know-how


to the best of one's ability
As well as one can: Conrad must do his job to the best of his abilities


Late Middle English: from Old French ablete, from Latin habilitas, from habilis 'able'.

Words that rhyme with ability

agility, civility, debility, docility, edibility, facility, fertility, flexility, fragility, futility, gentility, hostility, humility, imbecility, infantility, juvenility, liability, mobility, nihility, nobility, nubility, puerility, senility, servility, stability, sterility, tactility, tranquillity (US tranquility), usability, utility, versatility, viability, virility, volatility
Definition of ability in:
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