A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [uh-bil-i-tee]
    • /əˈbɪl ɪ ti/
    • /əˈbɪləti/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [uh-bil-i-tee]
    • /əˈbɪl ɪ ti/

Definitions of ability word

  • singular noun ability Your ability to do something is the fact that you can do it. 3
  • variable noun ability Your ability is the quality or skill that you have which makes it possible for you to do something. 3
  • noun ability possession of the qualities required to do something; necessary skill, competence, or power 3
  • noun ability considerable proficiency; natural capability 3
  • noun ability special talents 3
  • noun ability a being able; power to do (something physical or mental) 3

Information block about the term

Origin of ability

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English (h)abilite < Middle French < Latin habilitās aptitude, equivalent to habili(s) handy (see able) + -tās -ty2; replacing Middle English ablete < Old French < Latin, as above

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Ability


ability popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 96% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

ability usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for ability

noun ability

  • strength — the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
  • capacity — The capacity of a container is its volume, or the amount of liquid it can hold, measured in units such as litres or gallons.
  • intelligence — capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
  • understanding — mental process of a person who comprehends; comprehension; personal interpretation: My understanding of the word does not agree with yours.
  • capability — If you have the capability or the capabilities to do something, you have the ability or the qualities that are necessary to do it.

adjective ability

  • ambitious — Someone who is ambitious has a strong desire to be successful, rich, or powerful.

Antonyms for ability

noun ability

  • lack — something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.
  • weakness — the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.
  • inability — lack of ability; lack of power, capacity, or means: his inability to make decisions.
  • incompetence — the quality or condition of being incompetent; lack of ability.
  • ignorance — the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

Top questions with ability

  • what is ability power?
  • what is another word for ability?
  • what is the ability to cause change?
  • how to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms?
  • which muscle cells have the greatest ability to regenerate?
  • how to get a hidden ability?
  • which describes the ability of a community to resist change?
  • what gives carbon the ability to form chains?
  • how to get hidden ability pokemon?
  • what is the first ability affected by alcohol?
  • how do you spell ability?
  • what is ability?
  • what three factors contribute to the ability to walk?
  • what does ability mean?
  • what is cognitive ability?

See also

Matching words

Was this page helpful?
Yes No
Thank you for your feedback! Tell your friends about this page
Tell us why?