1. Having capacity or ability; efficient and able: a capable administrator. See Usage Note at able.
2. Having the ability required for a specific task or accomplishment; qualified: capable of winning.
3. Having the inclination or disposition: capable of violence.
4. Permitting an action to be performed: an error capable of remedy; a camera capable of being used underwater.
[Late Latin capābilis, from capere, to take; see kap- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.