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See more synonyms for capable on Thesaurus.com
  1. having power and ability; efficient; competent: a capable instructor.
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  1. capable of,
    1. having the ability or capacity for: a man capable of judging art.
    2. open to the influence or effect of; susceptible of: a situation capable of improvement.
    3. predisposed to; inclined to: capable of murder.
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Origin of capable

1555–65; < Late Latin capābilis roomy, apparently equivalent to cap(āx) roomy + -ābilis able; see capacity
Related formsca·pa·ble·ness, nounca·pa·bly, adverbo·ver·ca·pa·ble, adjectivequa·si-ca·pa·ble, adjectivequa·si-ca·pa·bly, adverbsu·per·ca·pa·ble, adjectivesu·per·ca·pa·ble·ness, nounsu·per·ca·pa·bly, adverb


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Synonym study

1. See able.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for capably

Historical Examples

  • "I started the girlies off to eight o'clock service," she said capably.

    The Heart of Rachael

    Kathleen Norris

  • She was serving the judicial party herself, and capably, too.

  • "No, I'm only going over to Kepplers," replied Betty capably.

  • If he so does, capably and without delay, thou shalt possess the jewels.

  • Dr. Mangan drove home as swiftly and capably as was his wont.

    Mount Music

    E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

British Dictionary definitions for capably


  1. having ability, esp in many different fields; competent
  2. (postpositive foll by of) able or having the skill (to do something)she is capable of hard work
  3. (postpositive foll by of) having the temperament or inclination (to do something)he seemed capable of murder
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Derived Formscapableness, nouncapably, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from French, from Late Latin capābilis able to take in, from Latin capere to take
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

Word Origin and History for capably



1560s, from Middle French capable or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (cf. Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls;" Greek kaptein "to swallow, gulp down;" Lettish kampiu "seize;" Old Irish cacht "servant-girl," literally "captive;" Welsh caeth "captive, slave;" Gothic haban "have, hold;" Old English hæft "handle," habban "to have, hold," Modern English have). Related: Capably.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper