Definition of -able in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əb(ə)l/


Forming adjectives meaning:
1Able to be: calculable
2Due to be: payable
5Having the quality to: suitable comfortable


From French -able or Latin -abilis; originally found in words only from these forms but later used to form adjectives directly from English verbs ending in -ate, e.g. educable from educate; subsequently used to form adjectives from verbs of all types (influenced by the unrelated word able), e.g. bearable, saleable.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.