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[key-puh-bil-i-tee] /ˌkeɪ pəˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural capabilities.
the quality of being capable; capacity; ability:
His capability was unquestionable.
the ability to undergo or be affected by a given treatment or action:
the capability of glass in resisting heat.
Usually, capabilities. qualities, abilities, features, etc., that can be used or developed; potential:
Though dilapidated, the house has great capabilities.
Origin of capability
1580-90; (< Middle French capabilité) < Late Latin capābili(s) capable + -ty2
Related forms
overcapability, noun, plural overcapabilities.
supercapability, noun, plural supercapabilities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for capabilities
  • Underestimating your enemies ability and overestimating your own capabilities usually leads to disaster and defeat.
  • Beyond these speculations, however, open source materials do not reflect a consensus over technical capabilities and performance.
  • Chrome's mobile browser is as speedy as its desktop counterpart, but incorporates syncing capabilities too.
  • The rosy periwinkle is an ordinary plant with extraordinary capabilities.
  • Familiarize yourself with your printer's capabilities and options.
  • Each of these systems has different capabilities and limitations.
  • Ants are common insects, but they have some unique capabilities.
  • Ask them to illustrate their timelines with sketches of the vehicles and descriptions of their capabilities and limitations.
  • Ascertain your water heater's capabilities, and check that the temperature isn't set higher than necessary.
  • They are a close relative of the great white shark and one of the few sharks with warm-blooded capabilities.
British Dictionary definitions for capabilities


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being capable; ability
the quality of being susceptible to the use or treatment indicated: the capability of a metal to be fused
(usually pl) a characteristic that may be developed; potential aptitude
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for capabilities



1580s, from capable + -ity. Capabilities "undeveloped faculty or property" is attested from 1778.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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