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[key-puh-buh l] /ˈkeɪ pə bəl/
having power and ability; efficient; competent:
a capable instructor.
capable of,
  1. having the ability or capacity for:
    a man capable of judging art.
  2. open to the influence or effect of; susceptible of:
    a situation capable of improvement.
  3. predisposed to; inclined to:
    capable of murder.
Origin of capable
1555-65; < Late Latin capābilis roomy, apparently equivalent to cap(āx) roomy + -ābilis able; see capacity
Related forms
capableness, noun
capably, adverb
overcapable, adjective
quasi-capable, adjective
quasi-capably, adverb
supercapable, adjective
supercapableness, noun
supercapably, adverb
1. skillful, ingenious, accomplished.
Synonym Study
1. See able. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for capably
Historical Examples
  • "I started the girlies off to eight o'clock service," she said capably.

    The Heart of Rachael Kathleen Norris
  • She was serving the judicial party herself, and capably, too.

  • "No, I'm only going over to Kepplers," replied Betty capably.

    Betty Gordon in Washington Alice B. Emerson
  • If he so does, capably and without delay, thou shalt possess the jewels.

    Kai Lung's Golden Hours Ernest Bramah
  • Dr. Mangan drove home as swiftly and capably as was his wont.

    Mount Music

    E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross
  • Untiring in his efforts to defend the fortress, Velasco resolutely and capably endeavored to foil the enemy's designs.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 2 Willis Fletcher Johnson
  • After a silent examination he opened his worn and faded saddle-bags and proceeded taciturnly but capably with his work.

    The Portal of Dreams Charles Neville Buck
  • As one occupying a unique position, he realized that he had a reputation to sustain, and capably he sustained it.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • They had then capably taken up the pleasant task of electing their officers and performed it with business-like snap.

  • This position of trust and responsibility has been capably filled for nearly ten years by Sister Mary Alphonsus.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
British Dictionary definitions for capably


having ability, esp in many different fields; competent
(postpositive) foll by of. able or having the skill (to do something): she is capable of hard work
(postpositive) foll by of. having the temperament or inclination (to do something): he seemed capable of murder
Derived Forms
capableness, noun
capably, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Late Latin capābilis able to take in, from Latin capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for capably



1560s, from Middle French capable or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (cf. Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls;" Greek kaptein "to swallow, gulp down;" Lettish kampiu "seize;" Old Irish cacht "servant-girl," literally "captive;" Welsh caeth "captive, slave;" Gothic haban "have, hold;" Old English hæft "handle," habban "to have, hold," Modern English have). Related: Capably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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