Definition of capable in English:
- 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.
- 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'.
The first recorded sense of this was ‘able to take in’, physically or mentally. It comes from Latin capere ‘take or hold’ which is found in many other English words including: accept (Late Middle English) from ad- ‘to’ and capere; anticipation (Late Middle English) ‘acting or taking in advance’; capacity (Late Middle English) ‘ability to hold’; caption (Late Middle English) originally an act of capture; captive (Late Middle English); catch (Middle English); chase (Middle English); conceive (Middle English) literally ‘take together’; except (Late Middle English) ‘take out of’; incapacity (early 17th century) inability to hold; intercept (Late Middle English) to take between; perceive (Middle English) to hold entirely; prince; receive (Middle English) ‘take back’; susceptible (early 17th century) literally ‘that can be taken from below’.
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