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 Dictionary entry overview: What does capable mean? 

CAPABLE (adjective)
  The adjective CAPABLE has 5 senses:

1. (usually followed by 'of') having capacity or ability
2. possibly accepting or permitting
3. (followed by 'of') having the temperament or inclination for
4. having the requisite qualities for
5. have the skills and qualifications to do things well

  Familiarity information: CAPABLE used as an adjective is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

CAPABLE (adjective)

Sense 1capable [BACK TO TOP]


(usually followed by 'of') having capacity or ability

Context examples:

capable of winning / capable of hard work / capable of walking on two feet


able (having inherent physical or mental ability or capacity)

confident; sure-footed; surefooted (not liable to error in judgment or action)

resourceful (having inner resources; adroit or imaginative)


competent (properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient)


capability; capableness (the quality of being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally)

capability; capableness; potentiality (an aptitude that may be developed)


incapable ((followed by 'of') lacking capacity or ability)

Sense 2capable [BACK TO TOP]


Possibly accepting or permitting


capable; subject; open

Context examples:

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)

Sense 3capable [BACK TO TOP]


(followed by 'of') having the temperament or inclination for

Context example:

no one believed her capable of murder


incapable ((followed by 'of') not having the temperament or inclination for)

Sense 4capable [BACK TO TOP]


Having the requisite qualities for


adequate to; equal to; up to; capable

Context examples:

equal to the task / the work isn't up to the standard I require


adequate ((sometimes followed by 'to') meeting the requirements especially of a task)

Sense 5capable [BACK TO TOP]


Have the skills and qualifications to do things well


able; capable

Context examples:

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)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." (English proverb)

"Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts." (Native American proverb, Hopi)

"Whoever works, he will eat." (Armenian proverb)

"Where there is smoke, there is fire too." (Croatian proverb)

 CAPABLE: related words searches 

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