Also found in: Thesaurus, 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.
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.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Due to the limitations of running capableness, power provison and memory space of devices in vehicles, classical cryptosystems cannot play direct roles in lots of security actions such as digital signature, message authentication, encryption and decryption, etc.
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.