[ en-ey-buhl ]
See synonyms for: enableenabledenablesenabling on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),en·a·bled, en·a·bling.
  1. to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to: This document will enable him to pass through the enemy lines unmolested.Students with vision impairments are enabled in the classroom with magnifiers and screen reader software.

  2. to make possible or easy: Aeronautics enables us to overcome great distances.

  1. to encourage or support (the bad or dysfunctional behavior) of (someone): The university enabled years of abuse by ignoring complaints against the coach. You enable drug users when you shield them from the consequences of their actions.

  2. Digital Technology.

    • to make (a device, system, or feature) active or functional; turn on: The automatic snapshot feature is enabled by default.

    • to equip for an extended, peripheral, or premium use: to enable your laptop for wireless internet access.

Origin of enable

First recorded in 1375–1425; Middle English; see en-1, able

Other words for enable

Other words from enable

  • en·a·bler, noun
  • pre·en·a·ble, verb (used with object), pre·en·a·bled, pre·en·a·bling.

Words Nearby enable

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use enable in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enable


/ (ɪnˈeɪbəl) /

  1. to provide (someone) with adequate power, means, opportunity, or authority (to do something)

  2. to make possible

  1. to put (a digital electronic circuit element) into an operative condition by supplying a suitable input pulse

Derived forms of enable

  • enablement, noun
  • enabler, noun

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