able Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “able” in the English Dictionary

"able" in British English

See all translations

ableadjective

uk   us   /ˈeɪ.bəl/

able adjective (CAN DO)

be able to do sth
More examples
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.

able adjective (SKILFUL)

C2 intelligent or good at what you do: an able ​child/​student/​secretary This ​problem is now being ​looked at by some of the ablest ​minds/​scientists in the ​country.

-ablesuffix

uk   us   /-ə.bəl/ (also ible)

able suffix (CAN BE)

added to ​verbs to ​formadjectives that ​meanable to ​receive the ​action of the ​statedverb: breakable washable movable

able suffix (WORTH BEING)

added to ​verbs to ​formadjectives that ​meanworthreceiving the ​action of the ​statedverb: an ​admirableperson an ​acceptableanswer
(Definition of able from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"able" in American English

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of able?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

chestnut

a large tree with leaves divided into five parts and large round nuts that can be eaten

Word of the Day

In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
by Liz Walter,
September 02, 2015
Several readers have asked for information on prepositions, so I will start with a blog post that looks at an area where they are really important: travel. The first thing to remember is that we use to (and not ‘in’) after the verb go: We are going to London. I went to

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More