/ay"beuhl/ , adj., abler, ablest , n.
1. having necessary power, skill, resources, or qualifications; qualified: able to lift a two-hundred-pound weight; able to write music; able to travel widely; able to vote.
2. having unusual or superior intelligence, skill, etc.: an able leader.
3. showing talent, skill, or knowledge: an able speech.
4. legally empowered, qualified, or authorized.
5. ( usually cap. ) a code word formerly used in communications to represent the letter A.
[ 1275-1325; ME habilis handy, equiv. to hab ( ere ) to have, hold + -ilis -ILE ]
Syn. 1. fit, fitted. ABLE, CAPABLE, COMPETENT all mean possessing adequate power for doing something. ABLE implies power equal to effort required: able to finish in time. CAPABLE implies power to meet or fulfill ordinary requirements: a capable worker. COMPETENT suggests power to meet demands in a completely satisfactory manner: a competent nurse. 2. talented; skilled, clever, ingenious. 3. apt.
Ant. 1. incompetent.