I. adjective 1. [with infinitive] — having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something • he was able to read Greek at the age of eight
• they would never be able to afford such a big house.
2. having considerable skill, proficiency, or intelligence • the dancers were technically very able.
– origin late Middle English (also in the sense ‘easy to use, suitable’): from Old French hable, from Latin habilis ‘handy’, from habere ‘to hold’.