Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: ca·pa·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈkāpəb(ə)l

Definition of capable in English:


1 (capable of doing something) Having the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing: I’m quite capable of taking care of myself the aircraft is capable of flying 5,000 miles nonstop
More example sentences
  • I think we all felt we were a good side but not in our wildest drams did we think we were capable of what we have achieved.
  • The evidence is that some boys are failing to achieve the results of which they are capable.
  • What is good is that England now strive not just to win but to play the cricket of which they know themselves capable.
1.1Open to or admitting of something: the strange events are capable of rational explanation
More example sentences
  • Neither in effect is capable of being measured by the strict rules of accountancy.
  • It's insanely dense too, with each scene capable of being read in any number of ways.
2Able to achieve efficiently whatever one has to do; competent: she looked enthusiastic and capable a highly capable man
More example sentences
  • He was a very capable surgeon and able to undertake all duties with skill and caring.
  • He was in fact a highly capable student and so was well able to complete his tasks ahead of others.
  • Teams of highly trained and capable engineers were recruited into the railway industry.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'able to take in', physically or mentally): from French, from late Latin capabilis, from Latin capere 'take or hold'.



Example sentences
  • Actually I used to stand around a bit in the classroom while she and several other women got on perfectly capably with printmaking, but we can pretend I was teaching, can't we?
  • The article capably introduces the subject of the glaring lack of intellectual diversity on elite American college campuses.
  • He has been in the forefront of the stock market operations for Jardine Fleming in India for many years and has steered its investment operations capably.

Definition of capable in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?