Meaning of “able” in the English Dictionary

"able" in English

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uk /ˈeɪ.bəl/ us /ˈeɪ.bəl/

able adjective (CAN DO)

be able to do sth

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A2 to have the necessary physical strength, mental power, skill, time, money, or opportunity to do something:

Will she be able to cope with the work?
He's never been able to admit to his mistakes.
I'm sorry that I wasn't able to phone you yesterday.
It's so wonderful being able to see the sea from my window.
be better able to do something

to find it easier to do something:

Get a good night's sleep and you'll feel better able to cope.


uk / -ə.bəl/ us / -ə.bəl/ also ible

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

"able" in American English

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us /ˈeɪ·bəl/

able adjective (HAVING WHAT IS NEEDED)

[ + to infinitive ] having what is needed to do something, esp. the physical or mental power, skill, time, money, or opportunity:

I lost my job and wasn’t able to afford my old apartment.
We won’t be able to keep up this kind of effort much longer.

able adjective (SKILLFUL)

good at what you do:

He is an able student.
adverb us /ˈeɪ·bli/

He does his job very ably.

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

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