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Origin of ably

First recorded in 1350–1400, ably is from the Middle English word abelli. See able, -ly


  1. a suffix combining -able and -ly that forms adverbs corresponding to adjectives ending in -able: commendably; dependably; tolerably.
Also -ibly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ably

competently, adroitly, capably

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Contemporary Examples of ably

Historical Examples of ably

British Dictionary definitions for ably


  1. in a competent or skilful manner
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