Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
1. Susceptible, capable, or worthy of a specified action: debatable.
2. Inclined or given to a specified state or action: changeable.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin -ābilis, -ibilis : -ā- and -i-, thematic vowels + -bilis, adj. suff.]
suffix forming adjectives
1. capable of, suitable for, or deserving of (being acted upon as indicated): enjoyable; pitiable; readable; separable; washable.
2. inclined to; given to; able to; causing: comfortable; reasonable; variable.
[via Old French from Latin -ābilis, -ībilis, forms of -bilis, adjectival suffix]
-ably suffix forming adverbs
-ability suffix forming nouns
adj. a•bler, a•blest.
1. having the necessary power, skill, resources, or qualifications to do something: able to read music; not able to vote.
2. having or showing unusual talent, intelligence, skill, or knowledge: an able leader.
[1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French < Latin habilis easy to handle, adaptable =hab(ēre) to have, hold + -ilis -ile1]
a suffix meaning “capable of, susceptible of, fit for, tending to, given to,” associated in meaning with the word able, occurring in loanwords from Latin (laudable); used in English to form adjectives from stems of any origin (teachable; photographable).Compare -ble, -ible.
[Middle English < Old French < Latin -ābilis]