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[key-puh-buh l] /ˈkeɪ pə bəl/
having power and ability; efficient; competent:
a capable instructor.
capable of,
  1. having the ability or capacity for:
    a man capable of judging art.
  2. open to the influence or effect of; susceptible of:
    a situation capable of improvement.
  3. predisposed to; inclined to:
    capable of murder.
Origin of capable
1555-65; < Late Latin capābilis roomy, apparently equivalent to cap(āx) roomy + -ābilis able; see capacity
Related forms
capableness, noun
capably, adverb
overcapable, adjective
quasi-capable, adjective
quasi-capably, adverb
supercapable, adjective
supercapableness, noun
supercapably, adverb
1. skillful, ingenious, accomplished. See able. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for capably
Historical Examples
  • For, of course, you are still to manage Orristown—as well and capably as you have managed it during the last three years.

    The Gambler Katherine Cecil Thurston
  • "I started the girlies off to eight o'clock service," she said capably.

    The Heart of Rachael Kathleen Norris
  • "I'm glad you came, Piney," she went on capably, and gave the batter paddle to Chloe.

    Sally of Missouri R. E. Young
  • She was serving the judicial party herself, and capably, too.

  • Thus came to an end the best planned and most capably conducted effort that was at any time made to conquer Charleston by sea.

  • "No, I'm only going over to Kepplers," replied Betty capably.

    Betty Gordon in Washington Alice B. Emerson
  • Untiring in his efforts to defend the fortress, Velasco resolutely and capably endeavored to foil the enemy's designs.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 2 Willis Fletcher Johnson
  • If he so does, capably and without delay, thou shalt possess the jewels.

    Kai Lung's Golden Hours Ernest Bramah
  • When he has worked faithfully and capably for the stated period, he is awarded a federal bronze badge of honor.

  • Dr. Mangan drove home as swiftly and capably as was his wont.

    Mount Music E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross
British Dictionary definitions for capably


having ability, esp in many different fields; competent
(postpositive) foll by of. able or having the skill (to do something): she is capable of hard work
(postpositive) foll by of. having the temperament or inclination (to do something): he seemed capable of murder
Derived Forms
capableness, noun
capably, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Late Latin capābilis able to take in, from Latin capere to take
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 capably



1560s, from Middle French capable or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (cf. Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls;" Greek kaptein "to swallow, gulp down;" Lettish kampiu "seize;" Old Irish cacht "servant-girl," literally "captive;" Welsh caeth "captive, slave;" Gothic haban "have, hold;" Old English hæft "handle," habban "to have, hold," Modern English have). Related: Capably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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