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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for capability
  • The index leaders are countries that usually perform well in more traditional rankings of current broadband capability.
  • The move to silicon optics would add a basic new capability to silicon chips: the ability to manipulate and respond to light.
  • Strong demonstrated interest and capability to undertake scholarly research publishable in leading journals.
  • Some scientists, he said, believe that even apes lack this capability.
  • The original device is replaced with a version with two-way capability.
  • The retention of a half capability is no capability at all.
  • They have the capability to send out general broadcasts of sonic energy and actually see with sound.
  • Your phone manufacturer should announce this capability soon.
  • Those indicate schoolmates who are nearby, as detected by the computers' built-in wireless networking capability.
  • Only humans, though, develop the physical capability to make the complex sounds of speech.
British Dictionary definitions for capability


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 capability

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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capability in Technology
operating system, security
An operating system security or access control model where specific types of access to a specific object are granted by giving a process this data structure or token.
The token may be unforgeable (typically by using encryption or hardware "tagged" memory). Capabilities are used in OSes such as Hydra, KeyKOS, EROS, Chorus/Mix, and the Stanford V system. Similar to Kerberos, but in an OS context.
Compare access control list.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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