- power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.
- competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification: the ability to sing well.
- abilities, talents; special skills or aptitudes: Composing music is beyond his abilities.
Origin of ability
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Origin of -ability
Examples from the Web for ability
That article noted that the F-35 does not currently have the ability to down-link live video to ground troops,.
Speech, in this case, is our ability to spend money on a goofy entertainment.
Nor does the jet have the ability to capture high-definition video, utilize an infra-red pointer.
Police, their representatives and supporters tell us, ensure our freedom of speech through our ability to protest.
Consumers are also gaining the ability to take the designs into their own hands as 3D printing becomes more accessible.What, and Who, You'll Be Wearing in 2015
December 27, 2014
We are fortunate in the ability and integrity of our Federal judges and attorneys.
Peace can be contributed to by respect for our ability in defense.
This accounts for his ability to get through in one day more than most people do in a week.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
The ability to love cleanly and absolutely is the supreme virtue.
Instead, she was inclined to boast over her ability to bamboozle men at her will.
- possession of the qualities required to do something; necessary skill, competence, or powerthe ability to cope with a problem
- considerable proficiency; natural capabilitya man of ability
- (plural) special talents
Word Origin and History for ability
late 14c., from Old French ableté "expert at handling (something)," from Latin habilitatem (nominative habilitas) "aptitude," noun of quality from habilis "easy to manage, handy" (see able). One case where a Latin silent -h- failed to make a return in English (despite efforts of 16c.-17c. scholars); see H.