synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of ability in English

English Online Dictionary. What means ability‎? What does ability mean?

  • abilitie, hability, habilitie (obsolete)

First attested in the 1300s. From Middle English abilite (suitability, aptitude, ability), from Old French ableté, from Latin habilitās (aptness, ability), from habilis (apt, fit, skillful, able); equivalent to able +‎ -ity.

  • IPA(key): /əˈbɪl.ə.ti/, /əˈbɪl.ɪ.ti/
  • Rhymes: -ɪlɪti

ability (countable and uncountable, plural abilities)

  1. (obsolete) Suitableness. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 17th century.]
  2. (uncountable) The quality or state of being able; capacity to do or of doing something; having the necessary power. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
  3. The legal wherewithal to act. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
  4. (now limited to Scotland dialects) Physical power. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
  5. (archaic) Financial ability. [First attested in the early 16th century.]
  6. (uncountable) A unique power of the mind; a faculty. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  7. (countable) A skill or competence in doing; mental power; talent; aptitude. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  • (quality or state of being able): capacity, faculty, capability
  • (a skill or competence): See Thesaurus:skill
  • (high level of skill or capability): talent, cleverness, dexterity, aptitude
  • (suitability or receptiveness to be acted upon): capability, faculty, capacity, aptness, aptitude
  • inability, unability
  • disability
  • able
  • “ability”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  • “ability”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.

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