adjective, a·bler, a·blest.
Origin of able
Examples from the Web for ablest
Their finest thinkers and ablest warriors migrated southward.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates saw Petraeus as the ablest choice.
For many years his staff has been the ablest on Capitol Hill, but most of the public never knew their names.
This man had been the right hand of Morgan; he was, after the captain, the ablest man among the buccaneers.Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer|Cyrus Townsend Brady
He was the ablest statesman of the North in the days when the aristocracy of the South was just effecting its consolidation.
His political opponent—the man who supplanted him—declared that he was the ablest advocate of independence.Great Events in the History of North and South America|Charles A. Goodrich
The ablest lawyer in the county had defended Donley, and finally, late in August, secured his acquittal.Judith of Blue Lake Ranch|Jackson Gregory
All the ablest men in the convention spoke emphatically against it.The Critical Period of American History|John Fiske
British Dictionary definitions for ablest
Word Origin for able
Word Origin and History for ablest
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]