• Private Stayer will not be able to sing
    Private Stayer will not be able to sing
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj able (usually followed by `to') having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something "able to swim","she was able to program her computer","we were at last able to buy a car","able to get a grant for the project"
    • adj able having inherent physical or mental ability or capacity "able to learn","human beings are able to walk on two feet","Superman is able to leap tall buildings"
    • adj able have the skills and qualifications to do things well "able teachers","a capable administrator","children as young as 14 can be extremely capable and dependable"
    • adj able having a strong healthy body "an able seaman","every able-bodied young man served in the army"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Beth was soon able to lie on the study sofa all day Beth was soon able to lie on the study sofa all day

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Men are able to read fine print better than women can
    • Able Fit; adapted; suitable. "A many man, to ben an abbot able ."
    • Able Having sufficient power, strength, force, skill, means, or resources of any kind to accomplish the object; possessed of qualifications rendering competent for some end; competent; qualified; capable; as, an able workman, soldier, seaman, a man able to work; a mind able to reason; a person able to be generous; able to endure pain; able to play on a piano.
    • Able (Law) Legally qualified; possessed of legal competence; as, able to inherit or devise property.
    • Able Specially: Having intellectual qualifications, or strong mental powers; showing ability or skill; talented; clever; powerful; as, the ablest man in the senate; an able speech. "No man wrote abler state papers."
    • Able To make able; to enable; to strengthen.
    • Able To vouch for. "I 'll able them."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties of climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles, except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil
    • able Having power or means sufficient; qualified; competent: as, a man able to perform military service; a child is not able to reason on abstract subjects.
    • able Legally entitled or authorized; having the requisite legal qualification: as, an illegitimate son is not able to take by inheritance.
    • able In an absolute sense: Vigorous; active.
    • able Having strong or unusual powers of mind, or intellectual qualifications: as, an able minister.
    • able To enable.
    • able To warrant or answer for.
    • n able Same as ablet.
    • n able A common termination of English adjectives, especially of those based on verbs. To the base to which it is attached it generally adds the notion of capable of, worthy of, and sometimes full of, causing: as, obtainable, capable of being obtained; tolerable, capable of being borne; laudable, worthy of praise; credible, that may be believed, or worthy of belief; forcible, full of force; horrible, terrible, full of or causing horror, terror. Many of these adjectives, such as tolerable, credible, legible, have been borrowed directly from the Latin or the French, and are in a somewhat different position from those formed by adding the termination to an already existing English word, as in the case of obtainable. Adjectives of this kind, with a passive signification, are the most numerous, and the base may be Anglo-Saxon or Latin; eatable, bearable, readable, believable, etc., are of the former kind. Of those in -able with an active signification we may mention delectable, suitable, capable. Of a neuter signification are durable, equable, conformable. All these are from verbal bases, but there are others derived from nouns, such as actionable, objectionable, peaceable, salable, serviceable. As to when -able and when -ible is to be used, Mr. Fitzedward Hall remarks: “Generally, the termination is -ible, if the base is the essentially uncorrupted stem of a Latin infinitive or supine of any conjugation but the first. … To the rule given above, however, there are many exceptions. … To all verbs, then, from the Anglo-Saxon, to all based on the uncorrupted infinitival stems of Latin verbs of the first conjugation, and to all substantives, whencesoever sprung, we annex -able only.” See his work “On English Adjectives in -Able, with Special Reference to Reliable,” pp. 45–47.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cows are able to hear lower and higher frequencies better than human beings
    • adj Able ā′bl (comp. A′bler; superl. A′blest) having sufficient strength, power, or means to do a thing: skilful
    • ***


  • Elbert Hubbard
    “I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.”
  • Raymond Holliwell
    Raymond Holliwell
    “Each experience through which we pass operates ultimately for our good. This is a correct attitude to adopt and we must be able to see it in that light.”
  • Walter Benjamin
    “To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.”
  • Curtis Carlson
    Curtis Carlson
    “You've got to be success minded. You've got to feel that things are coming your way when you're out selling; otherwise, you won't be able to sell anything.”
  • John Milton
    “To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.”
  • Stevie Wonder
    Stevie Wonder
    “Sometimes, I feel I am really blessed to be blind because I probably would not last a minute if I were able to see things.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. habile, L. habilis, that may be easily held or managed, apt, skillful, fr. habere, to have, hold. Cf. Habile and see Habit
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Ability.


In literature:

It was not until April 3rd that I was able actually to make a start with my caravan.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
I was able to walk by this time, and stood by the little window, watching the soldiers at exercise in the courtyard.
"At the Point of the Sword" by Herbert Hayens
We have been able to hire more men to take the places of those who have been taken away from us.
"Joan of Arc of the North Woods" by Holman Day
Many have remarked at the ease in which they were able to achieve self-hypnosis and the results they wanted.
"A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis" by Melvin Powers
I ain't able to work, ain't been able to do any work in five years.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
I never have learned to read, and so I haven't been able to master navigation.
"Old Jack" by W.H.G. Kingston
As the tide had now turned, they were able to get up the creek to the spot where Ben generally left his boat moored.
"The Rival Crusoes" by W.H.G. Kingston
We shall be going homewards, and may be better able to send a message to our friends at the Cape.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
She wanted to know whether he were the kind of man who would be able to rouse her to unusual activity.
"General John Regan" by George A. Birmingham
He would only have been able to feel and experience reality through his senses.
"Christianity As A Mystical Fact" by Rudolf Steiner

In poetry:

And of these stones, or tyrants' thrones,
God able is
To raise up seed--in thought and deed--
To faithful His.
"Satisfied" by Mary Baker Eddy
To carry out his foolish plan
He never would be able;
He might as well go hang himself
With his Atlantic Cable.
"How Cyrus Laid the Cable" by John Godfrey Saxe
"If, of the Law's stone table,
To hold he scarce was able
The first great precept fast,
He kept for man the last.
"An Autograph" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Then she boiled it and boiled it,
As long as she was able;
Then his daughter Susie took it
And put it on the table.
"Mr. Finney's Turnip" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Let thy experience sweet declare,
If able to remind;
A Bochim he here, a Bethel there,
Thy Husband made thee find.
"The Believer's Jointure : Chapter II." by Ralph Erskine
All I believed is true!
I am able yet
All I want, to get
By a method as strange as new:
Dare I trust the same to you?
"Mesmerism" by Robert Browning

In news:

However, most blended families are able to work through problems and live together successfully.
Demonstrations continue near the US embassy in Cairo, with the police thus far able to hold the mob at bay.
The Hoffman-Estates-based retailer said the service will be able available in most of its stores and online.
But, he wasn't going to vote for Obama because he wasn't able to transform Washington.
Community Blood Bank officials report the blood bank was able to share blood with other blood bank s all summer as a result of its success.
A year has passed now, and I'm able to resume my regular trips to the Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center in Marquette.
Oregon National Guardsman Larry Roberta says he went to Iraq fit, and came back barely able to breathe.
Rosie's owners had to move and were not able to take her with them.
Courtesy photo Dylan Genovese, 15, of Gloucester was barely able to hold his prize-winning, 33.15-pound striped bass, caught as part of Winchester Fishing Co.'s 22nd annual Blue Fish and Striped Bass Tournament.
Especially when they know, or perhaps suspect, that they'll not be able to deliver.
A 14-year-old boy was able to fly across the country, even though the airline thought he skipped his flight.
Bradenton Marauders General Manager Trevor Gooby may be able to deliver babies, but he can't change the weather.
Yet, when we help people who are ABLE- BODIED but make no effort to help themselves, I believe we destroy the individual and undermine society at large.
Yet 11-year-old Gabriel Muniz has been able to excel at the sport despite being born without feet.
Brahmans , known for the hump on their back and their wrinkled dewlaps, are tropical cattle, able to withstand heat and repel insects.

In science:

In particular, in the scaling window c = 1 ± λn−1/3 , a random formula is satisfiable with probability which is bounded away from 0 and 1 (the exact bounds depending on λ ), and it can be made satisfiable by removing a constant-order number of clauses (the constant depending on λ ).
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
While it is well known that for c > 1 , F (n, cn) is a.s. unsatisfiable, is it possible that even for c large, almost all clauses are satisfiable? Theorem 4 rules this out by showing that a constant fraction of clauses must go unsatisfied; up to a constant, it also provides a matching lower bound.
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
It is known that random k -sat has a sharp threshold: that is, there exists a threshold function c(n) such that for any ε > 0 , as n → ∞ , a random formula on n variables with (c(n) − ε)n clauses is a.s. satisfiable, while one with (c(n) + ε)n clauses is a.s. unsatisfiable [Fri99].
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
Although additional work is needed to prove it, a random 2-sat formula is satisfiable with high probability if this branching process is subcritical (if each X has an expected number of offspring < 1 ) and unsatisfiable w.h.p. if it is supercritical.
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
In the case of the random 3-satisfiability problem a phase transition from the satisfiable to the unsatisfiable phase is found at α = 4.267.
On the probabilistic approach to the random satisfiability problem