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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
  • But the technology that creates new sins also enables new precommitment strategies.
  • Slow motion enables viewers to see precisely where a play succeeds or fails.
  • To him, land is only the instrument which enables him to earn the wages of this labour, and to make the profits of this stock.
  • Feedback enables researchers to control an atom's wave function.
  • It enables us to appreciate space in three dimensions, to detect objects from a distance and to move about safely.
  • The advance also enables reprogrammable mice to be maintained in the lab generation after generation.
  • Planting stick, the earliest version of no-till, enables the planting of seeds without cultivation.
  • And now the technology enables this kind of control.
  • It enables one to see these two icons afresh in the light of each other's brilliance.
  • Anonymity enables its adopter to seek fame while shielding him from the meaner consequences of fame-seeking.
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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