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adj. a·bler, a·blest
1. Having sufficient power or resources to accomplish something: a singer able to reach high notes; a detergent able to remove stains.
2. Usage Problem Susceptible to action or treatment: The brakes were able to be fixed.
3. Especially capable or proficient: The new programmers proved to be very able.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin habilis, from habēre, to handle; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.]

a′bly (ā′blē) adv.
Usage Note: The construction able to takes an infinitive to show the subject's ability to accomplish something: We were able to finish the project thanks to a grant from a large corporation. The new submarine is able to dive twice as fast as the older model. Subjects to which people don't ascribe active roles tend to sound awkward in this construction, especially in passive constructions involving forms of the verb be, as in The problem was able to be solved by using this new method. Here, the use of the passive underscores the subject's not taking an active role, while the use of able suggests the opposite, creating a conflict. In our 2005 survey, only 24 percent of the Usage Panel accepted able in a sentence like this, though 54 percent accepted the use of capable instead (the problem was capable of being solved), suggesting that capable is less jarring. It may be easier just to substitute can or could, which are standard: The problem could be solved by using this new method.
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References in classic literature ?
e of our forefathers; indeed, I am convinced, that however I myself may fail in the ensuing attempt, yet, with more labour in collecting, or more skill in using, the materials within his reach, illustrated as they have been by the labours of Dr Henry, of the late Mr Strutt, and, above all, of Mr Sharon Turner, an abler hand would have been successful; and therefore I protest, beforehand, against any argument which may be founded on the failure of the present experiment.
They have selected a field of battle on which I am an abler general than they -- that of a conference.
As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch a dozen abler men in a night.
He now shall know I can produce a man, Of female seed, far abler to resist All his solicitations, and at length All his vast force, and drive him back to Hell-- Winning by conquest what the first man lost By fallacy surprised.
The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitant of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow who enjoys the fixed smile of the tropics.
I thought so," said Rouletabille, with a slightly contemptuous turn of his lips, "I fancied he was a much abler man.
Flight Test pilots Kevin Claffy and Todd Abler were at the controls, and Flight Test engineers Tim Spackman and Craig Ziolkowski provided test conductor and on-board data analysis support.
To our knowledge, the role of subsidization of BMPs in fostering an efficient allocation of NPS abatement effort via WQT has been explored in only one previous paper--Horan, Shortle, and Abler (2004).
There were plenty of abler, younger technocrats within the Central Bank who could have been given the post, but they did not possess the sole quality the president was looking for - loyalty to AKEL.
Abler pens have detailed the meaning and uses of dancing in Austen's novels; these writers have even commented from time to time on the lack of dance scenes in Sense and Sensibility.
They killed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, and he was replaced by abler men.
Reservations are required in advance by calling Melissa Abler, the Kohler Waters Spa concierge, at (920) 453-2815.