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[en-ey-buh l] /ɛnˈeɪ bəl/
verb (used with object), enabled, enabling.
to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to; authorize:
This document will enable him to pass through the enemy lines unmolested.
to make possible or easy:
Aeronautics enables us to overcome great distances.
to make ready; equip (often used in combination):
Web-enabled cell phones.
Origin of enable
1375-1425; Middle English; see en-1, able
Related forms
enabler, noun
preenable, verb (used with object), preenabled, preenabling.
1. empower, qualify, allow, permit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enable
  • The goal of this new framework is to better enable all countries to adapt to that future climate.
  • This would enable people to become more specialized.
  • We're here with hundreds of colleagues to encourage and enable booksellers to master their trade.
  • Its inventors hope it will enable more blind people to work in offices.
  • This will enable us to bring our best people to this important meeting.
  • The exhibit considers how designers seek to enable a nonverbal dialogue through clever design.
  • This club was created to enable people to enjoy these sports in a congenial setting.
  • In addition, digital distribution and editing tools now enable audiences to modify the content for their own creative endeavors.
  • And the government set up an independent body of inspectors to track the results and enable adjustments based on the data.
  • My concern at times is nothing more than establishing a series of practical conditions that will enable me to work.
British Dictionary definitions for enable


verb (transitive)
to provide (someone) with adequate power, means, opportunity, or authority (to do something)
to make possible
to put (a digital electronic circuit element) into an operative condition by supplying a suitable input pulse
Derived Forms
enablement, noun
enabler, noun
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 enable

early 15c., "to make fit;" mid-15c., "to make able to," from en- (1) "make, put in" + able. Related: Enabled; enabling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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