a combination of -able and -ity, found on nouns corresponding to adjectives in -able: capability.

Nearby words

  1. 'un,
  2. 've,
  3. 'zine,
  4. -'s,
  5. -a,
  6. -able,
  7. -ably,
  8. -ac,
  9. -acea,
  10. -aceae

Origin of -ability

Middle English -abiliteLatin -ābilitās
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for -ability


word-forming element expressing ability, fitness, or capacity, from Latin -abilitas, forming nouns from adjectives ending in -abilis (see -able). Not etymologically related to ability, though popularly connected with it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper