- 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 for ability on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for abilities
I have learned a lot about productions and the abilities I have in this realm.Porn Stars on the Year in Porn: Drone Erotica, Belle Knox, and Wild Sex
December 27, 2014
They are not locked into the whims of those more powerful, because their knowledge and abilities open doors.Promoting Girls’ Education Isn’t Enough: Malala Can Do More
December 9, 2014
Officially, the White House had nothing but plaudits for Hagel and his abilities running the enormous Defense Department.Hagel Takes a Bullet for Obama: Inside the Defense Secretary’s Sudden Firing
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
November 24, 2014
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, my third book, changed my life and put me on bare-knuckle terms with my abilities.The Stacks: How The Berlin Wall Inspired John le Carré’s First Masterpiece
John le Carré
November 8, 2014
This is more of a statement about racism in America than it is about his abilities.Herbie Hancock Holds Forth
November 8, 2014
All their abilities should scent of piety and the fear of God.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
Nothing is so tiresome to a man of any taste or abilities as what every body knows.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
In Calendar's driver, however, he had an adversary of abilities by no means to be despised.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
You are too doubtful of your own abilities, honest Joseph; that's your fault.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
Your abilities, my Imogen, appear to be of the very first description.Imogen
- 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 abilities
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.