ability

[uh-bil-i-tee]
noun, plural abilities.
1.
power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.
2.
competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification: the ability to sing well.
3.
abilities, talents; special skills or aptitudes: Composing music is beyond his abilities.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English (h)abilite < Middle French < Latin habilitās aptitude, equivalent to habili(s) handy (see able) + -tās -ty2; replacing Middle English ablete < Old French < Latin, as above

subability, noun, plural subabilities.

ability, capacity.


1. capability; proficiency, expertness, dexterity. 2. Ability, faculty, talent denote qualifications or powers. Ability is a general word for power, native or acquired, enabling one to do things well: a person of great ability; ability in mathematics. Faculty denotes a natural ability for a particular kind of action: a faculty of saying what he means. Talent is often used to mean a native ability or aptitude in a special field: a talent for music or art.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

-ability

a combination of -able and -ity, found on nouns corresponding to adjectives in -able:, capability.

Origin:
Middle English -abiliteLatin -ābilitās

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ability (əˈbɪlɪtɪ)
 
n , pl -ties
1.  possession of the qualities required to do something; necessary skill, competence, or power: the ability to cope with a problem
2.  considerable proficiency; natural capability: a man of ability
3.  (plural) special talents
 
[C14: from Old French from Latin habilitās aptitude, handiness, from habilisable]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ability
late 14c., from O.Fr. ableté "expert at handling (something)," from L. habilitatem (nom. habilitas) "aptitude," from habilis "easy to manage, handy" (see able). One case where a silent L. -h- failed to make a return in Eng. (despite efforts of 16c.-17c. scholars); see H.

-ability
suffix expressing ability, fitness, or capacity, from L. -abilitas, forming nouns from adjs. ending in -abilis (see -able). Not etymologically related to ability, though popularly connected with it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able, and yet reserve
  an ability that they never perform.
The ability to spread underlies the killing power of cancer.
Without new batteries and new gyroscopes it would lose both the power and the
  ability to point in the right direction.
Last I checked, a hero was a person of distinguished courage or ability.
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