Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


1. Having capacity or ability; efficient and able: a capable administrator. See Usage Note at able.
2. Having the ability required for a specific task or accomplishment; qualified: capable of winning.
3. Having the inclination or disposition: capable of violence.
4. Permitting an action to be performed: an error capable of remedy; a camera capable of being used underwater.

[Late Latin capābilis, from capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

ca′pa·ble·ness n.
ca′pa·bly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.capableness - an aptitude that may be developed
aptitude - inherent ability
perfectibility - the capability of becoming perfect; "he believes in the ultimate perfectibility of man"
grasp, compass, reach, range - the limit of capability; "within the compass of education"
imperfectibility - the capability of becoming imperfect
2.capableness - the quality of being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally; "he worked to the limits of his capability"
associability, associableness - the capability of being easily associated or joined or connected in thought
ability - the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment
defensibility - capability of being defended; "they built their castles with an eye to their defensibility"; "client complaints create a felt need for the defensibility of individual actions"
executability - capability of being executed; "the job is executable for two million dollars"; "this contract is not executable"
capacity - capability to perform or produce; "among his gifts is his capacity for true altruism"; "limited runway capacity"; "a great capacity for growth"
military capability, military posture, military strength, strength, posture - capability in terms of personnel and materiel that affect the capacity to fight a war; "we faced an army of great strength"; "politicians have neglected our military posture"
operating capability, performance capability - the capability of a technological system to perform as intended
overkill - the capability to obliterate a target with more weapons (especially nuclear weapons) than are required
incapability, incapableness - the quality of not being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally
References in periodicals archive ?
noted struggles with assumptions of capableness based on race and
The Merriam-Webster dictionary includes capability, capableness, capacity, and ability as synonyms for competence; using these synonyms provides some insight for our basic understanding of the word competence.
ethnicity, age, capableness, gender, religion, geographical area) and the broader social context (e.