-able

-able

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 ).
Also, -ble, -ible.


Origin:
Middle English < Old French < Latin -ābilis, equivalent to -ā- final vowel of 1st conjugation v. stems + -bilis

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World English Dictionary
-able
 
suffix forming adjectives
1.  capable of, suitable for, or deserving of (being acted upon as indicated): enjoyable; pitiable; readable; separable; washable
2.  inclined to; given to; able to; causing: comfortable; reasonable; variable
 
[via Old French from Latin -ābilis,-ībilis, forms of -bilis, adjectival suffix]
 
-ably
 
suffix forming adverbs
 
-ability
 
suffix forming nouns

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

-able
suffix expressing ability, capacity, fitness, from Fr., from L. -ibilis, -abilis, forming adjectives from verbs, from PIE *-tro-, a suffix used to form nouns of instrument. In L., infinitives in -are took -abilis, others -ibilis; in Eng., -able is used for native words, -ible for words of obvious L.
origin. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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