ability


ability
a|bil|i|ty
W1S1 [əˈbılıti] n plural abilities
[Date: 1400-1500; : Old French; Origin: habilité, from Latin habilitas, from habilis; ABLE]
1.)
the state of being able to do something
ability to do sth
the ability to walk
The health center serves all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
I don't have the ability to say 'no'.
2.) [U and C]
someone's level of skill at doing something
athletic/musical/artistic etc ability
The test measures verbal and mathematical ability.
leadership ability
It takes hard work and natural ability to make it as a professional athlete.
There are musicians of all abilities in the orchestra.
of great/exceptional etc ability
He's a writer of remarkable ability.
of high/low/average ability
students of average ability
mixed ability classes (=classes that include students who are at different levels)
3.) to the best of your ability
as well as you can
He completed the job to the best of his ability.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ability — may be: * aptitude * ability to pay * Intelligence * physical ability * skill * expertiseAbility: The way to do something.Ability may also refer to: * Ability score, in role playing games * Ability Plus Software, makers of the office suite… …   Wikipedia

  • ability — I noun ableness, adaptability, adeptness, adequacy, aptitude, aptness, capability, capacity, competence, competency, enablement, facultas, faculty, fitness, fittedness, ingenium, mastership, mastery, potentiality, potestas, proficiency, prowess,… …   Law dictionary

  • ability — ability, capacity, capability are often confused in use. Ability primarily denotes the quality or character of being able (as to do or perform) and is applied chiefly to human beings. Capacity in its corresponding sense means the power or more… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Ability — A*bil i*ty ([.a]*b[i^]l [i^]*t[y^]), n.; pl. {Abilities} ([.a]*b[i^]l [i^]*t[i^]z). [F. habilet[ e], earlier spelling habilit[ e] (with silent h), L. habilitas aptitude, ability, fr. habilis apt. See {Able}.] The quality or state of being able;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ability — UK US /əˈbɪləti/ noun [C or U] ► the power or skill needed to do something, or the fact that someone is able to do something: »There s no doubting her ability. the ability to do sth »A good leader has the ability to motivate people. »We like our… …   Financial and business terms

  • -ability — suffix expressing ability, fitness, or capacity, from L. abilitas, forming nouns from adjectives ending in abilis (see ABLE (Cf. able)). Not etymologically related to ABILITY (Cf. ability), though popularly connected with it …   Etymology dictionary

  • ability — [n1] power to act, perform aptitude, capability, capacity, competence, competency, comprehension, dexterity, endowment, facility, faculty, intelligence, might, potentiality, qualification, resourcefulness, skill, strength, talent, understanding;… …   New thesaurus

  • -ability — [ə bil′ə tē] [L abilitas: see ABLE & ITY] suffix forming nouns a (specified) ability, capacity, or tendency …   English World dictionary

  • -ability — [əbılıti] suffix also ibility [: Old French; Origin: abilité, from Latin abilitas, from abilis; ABLE] makes nouns from adjectives ending in ↑ able and ↑ ible ▪ manageability ▪ suitability …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • -ability — [ ə bıləti ] suffix used with adjectives ending in able to make nouns meaning a particular quality: suitability dependability …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ability — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. ableté expert at handling (something), from L. habilitatem (nom. habilitas) aptitude, noun of quality from habilis easy to manage, handy (see ABLE (Cf. able)). One case where a Latin silent h failed to make a return in… …   Etymology dictionary


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