Definition of able in English:
adjective (abler, ablest)
- When you add in council tax and other bills we know we wouldn't be able to afford that.
- The morning journey was relaxing and I was able to read a lot that will help me at work.
- Participants do not need to be able to read music or to have sung with a choir before.
- Born into a noble family, Neroccio was one of the most able artists of late 15th-century Siena.
- Abler students would do well to supplement Post's book with Bell's ‘Elizabethan Women and Poetry of Courtship’.
- Two of the abler young novelists of the time, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, were converts to Roman Catholicism.
In the past able had the senses ‘easy to use’ and ‘suitable’ as well as the more familiar sense ‘having the qualifications or means’ to do something. It comes from Latin habilis ‘handy’ from habere ‘to hold’. The jargon term abled, as in differently abled was formed in the 1980s from disabled (late 16th century), from able with the negative dis- in front.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.