Their finest thinkers and ablest warriors migrated southward.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates saw Petraeus as the ablest choice.
For many years his staff has been the ablest on Capitol Hill, but most of the public never knew their names.
In English some of the ablest writers have employed dialect.
Even the ablest naturalist who has written about him is puzzled as to his species.
He wrote back, on the 9th November, a letter which would alone stamp him as the ablest English statesman of his day.
Among its contributors will be found our oldest and ablest writers.
Dr. Smith is one of America's ablest representatives at foreign courts.
And yet one of the ablest men of the parish had tended her own garden for years.
The first and ablest aid Mr. Webster received was from Calhoun, then second to none in his influence.
early 14c., from Old French (h)able (14c.), from Latin habilem, habilis "easily handled, apt," verbal adjective from habere "to hold" (see habit). "Easy to be held," hence "fit for a purpose." The silent h- was dropped in English and resisted academic attempts to restore it 16c.-17c., but some derivatives acquired it (e.g. habiliment, habilitate), via French.
Able-whackets - A popular sea-game with cards, in which the loser is beaten over the palms of the hands with a handkerchief tightly twisted like a rope. Very popular with horny-fisted sailors. [Smyth, "Sailor's Word-Book," 1867]