Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having capacity or ability; efficient and able.
  • adjective Having the ability required for a specific task or accomplishment; qualified.
  • adjective Having the inclination or disposition.
  • adjective Permitting an action to be performed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Able to hold or contain; sufficiently capacious (for): followed by of.
  • Capacious; extensive; comprehensive: as, “a capable and wide revenge,”
  • Able to receive; open to influences; impressible; receptive; susceptible; admitting: usually followed by of: as, capable of pain and grief; capable of long duration; capable of being colored or altered: sometimes used absolutely.
  • Able to be received.
  • Fitted or deserving to receive: as, “capable of mercy,”
  • Sufficiently able (to do something): as, a man capable of judging.
  • Having legal power or capacity: as, a bastard is not capable of inheriting an estate.
  • Possessing a good degree of intelligence or ability; qualified; able; competent: as, a capable judge; a capable instructor.
  • Synonyms Qualified, fitted, adapted, efficient, clever, skilful, gifted, accomplished.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Possessing ability, qualification, or susceptibility; having capacity; of sufficient size or strength.
  • adjective Possessing adequate power; qualified; able; fully competent.
  • adjective Possessing legal power or capacity.
  • adjective obsolete Capacious; large; comprehensive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Able and efficient; having the ability needed for a specific task; having the disposition to do something; permitting or being susceptible to something.
  • adjective obsolete Of sufficient capacity or size for holding, containing, receiving or taking in. Construed with of, for or an infinitive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective (usually followed by `of') having capacity or ability
  • adjective (followed by `of') having the temperament or inclination for
  • adjective possibly accepting or permitting
  • adjective having the requisite qualities for
  • adjective have the skills and qualifications to do things well

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin capābilis, from capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin capabilis.

Examples

  • But a nature capable of so much distress, must of necessity be _capable_ of a corresponding amount of pleasure; and in her case this was manifest in the fact that sleep and the quiet of her own room restored her wonderfully.

    The Portent & Other Stories

  • _Africaine_, reformed, refined, beautified in her descendants, transformed into the creole negress, commenced to exert a fascination irresistible, capable of winning anything (_capable de tout obtenir_). "

    Two Years in the French West Indies

  • It is clear then that since "Lover of so and so" is a term capable of several meanings, we do not always denote the same quality by the term

    Ethics

  • Last month the high court approved a scheme which it described as capable of turning around the fortunes of three companies within the group - John J Fleming Construction, JJ Fleming Holdings and Tivway.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • Last month the high court approved a scheme which it described as capable of turning around the fortunes of three companies within the group - John J Fleming Construction, JJ Fleming Holdings and Tivway.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • Oh yes, basic street maintenance is in capable hands, folks -- would Sam mislead you?

    Jack Bog's Blog: September 2009 Archives

  • "Compact and capable" is how I would describe Twirhl, even if its interface leaves something to be desired.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • That they'd be able to get the overpriced box off the shelf and replace it with one that's cheaper and equally capable is a miracle I'm not expecting, though -- my guess is that it's a simpler SKU that will sell alongside, not replace, the proper PS3.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • At most, a few existing services may run a bit faster (the federal government, you will recall, defines High Speed Rail to include any train capable of a maximum speed of 90 mph or more).

    Matthew Yglesias » John McCain Repeats Vegas HSR Lie, Adds New Non-True Details

  • That confident delivery makes you feel like you're in capable hands.

    REVIEW: Three Unbroken by Chris Roberson

Comments

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  • "Refrigerator car(s), beer", in the shorthand jargon of railroad telegrahpy. --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013