able Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “able” in the English Dictionary

"able" in British English

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ableadjective

uk   us   /ˈeɪ.bəl/
  • able adjective (CAN DO)

be able to do sth

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A2 to have the ​necessaryphysicalstrength, ​mentalpower, ​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 ​feelbetter able to ​cope.

-ablesuffix

uk   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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ableadjective

 us   /ˈeɪ·bəl/
  • able adjective (HAVING WHAT IS NEEDED)

[+ to infinitive] having what is ​needed to do something, esp. the ​physical or ​mentalpower, ​skill, ​time, ​money, or ​opportunity: I ​lost my ​job and wasn’t able to ​afford my ​oldapartment. 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.
ably
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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