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.
Historical Examples

Let abler men explain to us what we mean when we talk about Immutable Morality.
Inspiration and Interpretation John Burgon

All students of our art are familiar with it as presented by abler hands than mine.
Pioneer Surgery in Kentucky David W. Yandell

Fortunately for Carlingford, its reorganisation was in abler hands.
Miss Marjoribanks Mrs (Margaret) Oliphant

He was treading in the steps of other, and abler men, who had gone before him.
Thirty Years’ View (Vol. I of 2) Thomas Hart Benton

She is always the same, like herself; and when she collects her strength is abler still.
Garden-Craft Old and New John D. Sedding

Stronger statements than these of Mill’s, or by an abler authority, could not be asked for.
Honest Money Arthur Isaac Fonda

Here and there in the South we find these people of the abler stocks already so employed.
The Popular Science Monthly, June, 1900 Various

He was abler in attack than in defense—like most polemic authors.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. III, No. XVII, October 1851 Various

There a man does not take long to find out that he is opposed by some who are abler and better than himself.
A Lecture on the Study of History Lord Acton

No American ever lived who was an abler or more polished writer than he.
An American Hobo in Europe Ben Goodkind

(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

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]

Association for Biology Laboratory Education


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    serving to cleanse. a cleansing agent.

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    a cleansing with water or other liquid, especially as a religious ritual. the liquid thus used. Usually, ablutions. a washing of the hands, body, etc. Historical Examples The ablution ought, strictly, to be performed once in every twenty-four hours. Little Masterpieces of Science: Health and Healing Various This ablution made him clean, but did not […]

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