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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 enables
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How truly sweet it was to him a letter that he subsequently wrote to Georgiana from Passy enables us in some measure to realize.

  • And with that he gives his evidence, convicts the lot, and enables the beaks to hang them.

    My Friend The Murderer A. Conan Doyle
  • It is He who enables man to attain his highest possibilities.

  • Only the fact that we are unaware how well our nearest know us enables us to live with them.

    The Touchstone Edith Wharton
  • It enables the qualified man to turn his individual capabilities to best account.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
British Dictionary definitions for enables


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 enables



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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