Definition of -able in English:



  • 1(forming adjectives) able to be.

    • ‘calculable’
  • 2(forming adjectives) to be.

    • ‘payable’
  • 3(forming adjectives) subject to.

    • ‘taxable’
  • 4(forming adjectives) relevant to or in accordance with.

    • ‘fashionable’
  • 5(forming adjectives) having the quality to.

    • ‘comfortable’





From French -able or Latin -abilis; originally found in words only from these forms but later used to form adjectives directly from English verbs ending in -ate, e.g. educable from educate; subsequently used to form adjectives from verbs of all types (influenced by the unrelated word able), e.g. bearable, saleable.