Meaning of “ability” in the English Dictionary

"ability" in British English

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abilitynoun [ C or U ]

uk /əˈbɪl.ə.ti/ us /əˈbɪl.ə.t̬i/

B1 the physical or mental power or skill needed to do something:

There's no doubting her ability.
[ + to infinitive ] She had the ability to explain things clearly and concisely.
She's a woman of considerable abilities.
I have children in my class of very mixed abilities (= different levels of skill or intelligence).

More examples

  • He had no doubts about his team's ability to reach the World Cup finals.
  • Computer literacy is now as essential as the ability to drive a car.
  • Organizational ability is essential in a good manager.
  • Man's ability to talk makes him unlike any other animal.
  • All the children are taught together in one class, regardless of their ability.

-abilitysuffix

uk / -ə.bɪl.ə.ti/ us / -ə.bɪl.ə.t̬i/ also ibility

(Definition of “ability” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ability" in American English

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abilitynoun [ C/U ]

us /əˈbɪl·ɪ·t̬i/

the mental or physical power or skill needed to do something:

[ U ] They should not be taking in somebody they don't have the ability to care for.
[ C ] Her teammates respect her abilities.

(Definition of “ability” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ability" in Business English

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abilitynoun [ C or U ]

uk /əˈbɪləti/ us

the power or skill needed to do something, or the fact that someone is able to do something:

There's no doubting her ability.
the ability to do sth A good leader has the ability to motivate people.
We like our employees to have a broad range of abilities, not just good qualifications.

(Definition of “ability” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)