Able



having necessary power, skill, resources, or qualifications; qualified:
able to lift a two-hundred-pound weight; able to write music; able to travel widely; able to vote.
having unusual or superior intelligence, skill, etc.:
an able leader.
showing talent, skill, or knowledge:
an able speech.
legally empowered, qualified, or authorized.
(usually initial capital letter) a code word formerly used in communications to represent the letter A.
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 as a highly productive suffix to form adjectives by addition to stems of any origin (teachable; photographable).
adjective
(postpositive) having the necessary power, resources, skill, time, opportunity, etc, to do something: able to swim
capable; competent; talented: an able teacher
(law) qualified, competent, or authorized to do some specific act
suffix
capable of, suitable for, or deserving of (being acted upon as indicated): enjoyable, pitiable, readable, separable, washable
inclined to; given to; able to; causing: comfortable, reasonable, variable
adj.

early 14c., from Old French (h)able (14c.), from Latin habilem, habilis “easily handled, apt,” verbal adjective from habere “to hold” (see habit). “Easy to be held,” hence “fit for a purpose.” The silent h- was dropped in English and resisted academic attempts to restore it 16c.-17c., but some derivatives acquired it (e.g. habiliment, habilitate), via French.

Able-whackets – A popular sea-game with cards, in which the loser is beaten over the palms of the hands with a handkerchief tightly twisted like a rope. Very popular with horny-fisted sailors. [Smyth, “Sailor’s Word-Book,” 1867]

word-forming element expressing ability, capacity, fitness, from French, from Latin -ibilis, -abilis, forming adjectives from verbs, from PIE *-tro-, a suffix used to form nouns of instrument.

In Latin, infinitives in -are took -abilis, others -ibilis; in English, -able tends to be used with native (and other non-Latin) words, -ible with words of obvious Latin origin (but there are exceptions). The Latin suffix is not etymologically connected with able, but it long has been popularly associated with it, and this has contributed to its survival as a living suffix. It is related to the second syllable of rudder and saddle.

language
A simple language for accountants.
[“ABLE, The Accounting Language, Programming and Reference Manual,” Evansville Data Proc Center, Evansville, IN, Mar 1975].
[Listed in SIGPLAN Notices 13(11):56 (Nov 1978)].
(1994-11-08)
Association for Biology Laboratory Education

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  • Able seaman

    Also called able-bodied seaman. an experienced deck-department seaman qualified to perform routine sea duties. (in the British Navy and on British and U.S. merchant ships) a rating between ordinary seaman and leading seaman or boatswain’s mate. Abbreviation: A.B., AB.

  • Able-bodied

    having a strong, healthy body; physically fit: Every able-bodied young man served in the armed forces. Contemporary Examples The labor force participation rate (the percentage of able-bodied adults in the workforce) fell as well. Today’s Unemployment Report Is an S.O.S. to the Fed Daniel Gross September 5, 2013 I hated that as an able-bodied male, […]



  • Able rating

    noun (esp in the Royal Navy) a rating who is qualified to perform certain duties of seamanship

  • Able-bodied seaman

    Also called able-bodied seaman. an experienced deck-department seaman qualified to perform routine sea duties. (in the British Navy and on British and U.S. merchant ships) a rating between ordinary seaman and leading seaman or boatswain’s mate. Abbreviation: A.B., AB. Historical Examples As a result I got my rate as able-bodied seaman when I was fifteen. […]



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