- having necessary power, skill, resources, or qualifications; qualified: able to lift a two-hundred-pound weight; able to write music; able to travel widely; able to vote.
- having unusual or superior intelligence, skill, etc.: an able leader.
- showing talent, skill, or knowledge: an able speech.
- legally empowered, qualified, or authorized.
- (usually initial capital letter) a code word formerly used in communications to represent the letter A.
Origin of able
Synonyms for able
Antonyms for able
Related Words for ablergood, adept, capable, apt, competent, easy, ready, adequate, strong, intelligent, smart, skilled, effective, efficient, responsible, prepared, keen, adroit, agile, alert
Examples from the Web for abler
Historical Examples of abler
We are not abler than others whom you might find by the dozen in any civilised country.Freeland
And if not, are there not thousands of abler pens laboring for its improvement?The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
Had he lived, the composition of this book would have been in abler hands than mine.Daring and Suffering:
In this respect Gladstone proved himself an abler tactician than Pitt.William Pitt and the Great War
John Holland Rose
Madame Letellier merits the description of an abler pen than mine.The Forsaken Inn
Anna Katharine Green
- (postpositive) having the necessary power, resources, skill, time, opportunity, etc, to do somethingable to swim
- capable; competent; talentedan able teacher
- law qualified, competent, or authorized to do some specific act
Word Origin for able
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]