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[en-ey-buh l] /ɛnˈeɪ bəl/
verb (used with object), enabled, enabling.
to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to; authorize:
This document will enable him to pass through the enemy lines unmolested.
to make possible or easy:
Aeronautics enables us to overcome great distances.
to make ready; equip (often used in combination):
web-enabled cell phones.
Origin of enable
Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at en-1, able
Related forms
enabler, noun
preenable, verb (used with object), preenabled, preenabling.
1. empower, qualify, allow, permit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Again she fell upon her knees, and prayed God to enable her.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • What was there in life that could enable one to forget it faster?

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • This hole is to enable the syrup to penetrate the inside of the lemons.

  • Call them yours, if you enable me to spend to-night in your place with Marcolina.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • I don't want to know any more about you than will enable me to do what I can for you.

    The Greater Inclination Edith Wharton
British Dictionary definitions for enable


verb (transitive)
to provide (someone) with adequate power, means, opportunity, or authority (to do something)
to make possible
to put (a digital electronic circuit element) into an operative condition by supplying a suitable input pulse
Derived Forms
enablement, noun
enabler, noun
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 enable

early 15c., "to make fit;" mid-15c., "to make able to," from en- (1) "make, put in" + able. Related: Enabled; enabling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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