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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. having ability, esp in many different fields; competent
2. (foll by: of) able or having the skill (to do something): she is capable of hard work.
3. (foll by: of) having the temperament or inclination (to do something): he seemed capable of murder.
[C16: from French, from Late Latin capābilis able to take in, from Latin capere to take]
ˈcapableness n
ˈcapably adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkeɪ pə bəl)

1. having power and ability; efficient; competent: a capable instructor.
2. capable of,
a. having the ability for: capable of writing music.
b. susceptible of: a situation capable of improvement.
c. predisposed to: capable of murder.
[1555–65; < Late Latin capābilis roomy]
ca′pa•ble•ness, n.
ca′pa•bly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



Able and capable are both used to say that someone can do something.

1. 'able'

If someone is able to do something, they can do it either because of their knowledge or skill, or because it is possible.

He wondered if he would be able to climb over the fence.
They were able to use their profits for new investments.

If you use a past tense, you mean that someone has actually done something.

We were able to reduce costs.
2. 'capable'

If someone is capable of doing something, they have the knowledge and skill to do it.

The workers are perfectly capable of running the organization themselves.

You can say that someone is capable of a particular feeling or action.

He's capable of loyalty.
I don't believe he's capable of murder.

You can also use capable of when you are talking about what something such as a car or machine can do.

The car was capable of 110 miles per hour.
3. 'able' or 'capable'

If you describe someone as able or capable, you mean that they do things well.

He's certainly a capable gardener.
Naomi was a hard-working and able student.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.capable - (usually followed by `of') having capacity or ability; "capable of winning"; "capable of hard work"; "capable of walking on two feet"
competent - properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient; "a competent typist"
incapable - (followed by `of') lacking capacity or ability; "incapable of carrying a tune"; "he is incapable of understanding the matter"; "incapable of doing the work"
2.capable - possibly accepting or permitting; "a passage capable of misinterpretation"; "open to interpretation"; "an issue open to question"; "the time is fixed by the director and players and therefore subject to much variation"
susceptible - (often followed by `of' or `to') yielding readily to or capable of; "susceptible to colds"; "susceptible of proof"
3.capable - (followed by `of') having the temperament or inclination for; "no one believed her capable of murder"
incapable - (followed by `of') not having the temperament or inclination for; "simply incapable of lying"
4.capable - having the requisite qualities forcapable - having the requisite qualities for; "equal to the task"; "the work isn't up to the standard I require"
adequate, equal - having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task; "she had adequate training"; "her training was adequate"; "she was adequate to the job"; "he was equal to the task"
5.capable - have the skills and qualifications to do things wellcapable - have the skills and qualifications to do things well; "able teachers"; "a capable administrator"; "children as young as 14 can be extremely capable and dependable"
competent - properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient; "a competent typist"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. able, fitted, suited, adapted, adequate Such a weapon would be capable of firing conventional or nuclear shells.
able incapable
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Having the ability to perform well:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
قَادِرقادِرٌ عَلىقَديرٌ، بارِعٌ، كُفءٌ
dueligi stand tilkvalificeret
færhæfur, fær
...할 능력이 있는
có năng lực


[ˈkeɪpəbl] ADJ
1. (= competent) → competente, capaz
she's a very capable speakeres una oradora muy competente or capaz
she's very capablees muy competente or capaz
I can leave the matter in your very capable handssi te confío a ti el asunto, estará en buenas manos
2. (= able to) → capaz; (= predisposed towards) → susceptible
sports cars capable of reaching 150mphcoches deportivos que pueden alcanzar or que son capaces de alcanzar las 150 millas por hora
it's capable of some improvement (frm) → se puede mejorar algo
such men are capable of anythinghombres así son capaces de cualquier cosa
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈkeɪpəbəl] adjcapable
to be capable of sth [+ murder] → être capable de qch; [+ speed] → pouvoir atteindre qch
capable of doing sth (= able to) → capable de faire qch (= apt to) → capable de faire qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= skilful, competent)fähig, kompetent; mothergut
to be capable of doing somethingetw tun können; (person: = have physical, mental ability also) → fähig sein, etw zu tun; to be capable of somethingetw können, zu etw fähig sein; it’s capable of exploding any minutees kann jede Minute explodieren; it’s capable of speeds of up to …es erreicht Geschwindigkeiten bis zu; he’s capable of betterer ist zu Besserem fähig; the poem is capable of several interpretationsdas Gedicht lässt mehrere Interpretationsmöglichkeiten zu; capable of improvementverbesserungsfähig; he’s quite capable of changing his mind at the last minuteer bringt es fertig und ändert seine Meinung in der letzten Minute; thank you but I’m quite capable of doing that myselfdanke, ich kann das durchaus allein
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈkeɪpəbl] adj
a. (competent) → capace, abile
b. (able to) capable of (doing) sthin grado di fare qc, capace di fare qc
your son's capable of doing better at school → suo figlio potrebbe riuscire meglio a scuola
she's quite capable of letting someone else take the blame → sarebbe capace di dar la colpa a un altro
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈkeipəbl) adjective
1. clever especially in practical ways. She'll manage somehow – she's so capable!
2. (with of) clever enough to; likely to; able to. He is capable of doing better; He is quite capable of cheating us.
ˈcapably adverb
ˌcapaˈbility noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


قَادِر schopný duelig fähig ικανός capaz pystyvä capable sposoban capace ・・・ができる ...할 능력이 있는 capabel dyktig zdolny capaz способный skicklig ที่สามารถทำได้ muktedir có năng lực 有能力的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. capaz; competente, hábil.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


adj capaz
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be CAPABLE of being an enemy.
The most distinctive mark of substance appears to be that, while remaining numerically one and the same, it is capable of admitting contrary qualities.
And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful.
Now, if I have made reservoirs of a size equal to this tenth, or capable of holding 150 tons, and if I fill them with water, the boat, weighing then 1,507 tons, will be completely immersed.
He was dexterous to make him comfortable, and he exercised a cunning of which I should never have thought him capable to induce him to take the medicines prescribed by the doctor.
Darcy's conduct in it less than infamous, was capable of a turn which must make him entirely blameless throughout the whole.
Moreover, Speranski, either because he appreciated the other's capacity or because he considered it necessary to win him to his side, showed off his dispassionate calm reasonableness before Prince Andrew and flattered him with that subtle flattery which goes hand in hand with self-assurance and consists in a tacit assumption that one's companion is the only man besides oneself capable of understanding the folly of the rest of mankind and the reasonableness and profundity of one's own ideas.
The latest tenants of the Manor House had, however, with characteristic energy, set this right, and the drawbridge was not only capable of being raised, but actually was raised every evening and lowered every morning.
I should scold her myself, if she were capable of wishing to check the delight of your conversation with our new friend."-- Marianne was softened in a moment.
A course to follow in this matter has presented itself to my mind since I received your letter, but my ignorance of details of business and intricacies of law leaves me still uncertain whether my idea is capable of ready and certain execution.
Besides, I wish such persons to observe that the grand artery and the arterial vein are of much harder and firmer texture than the venous artery and the hollow vein; and that the two last expand before entering the heart, and there form, as it were, two pouches denominated the auricles of the heart, which are composed of a substance similar to that of the heart itself; and that there is always more warmth in the heart than in any other part of the body- and finally, that this heat is capable of causing any drop of blood that passes into the cavities rapidly to expand and dilate, just as all liquors do when allowed to fall drop by drop into a highly heated vessel.
In the ideal state power will be given to the man with most knowledge of the good; in other states to the men who are most truly capable of achieving that end which the citizens have set themselves to pursue.