Definition of -able in English:


Pronunciation /əb(ə)l/


  • 1(forming adjectives) able to be.

  • 2(forming adjectives) to be.

  • 3(forming adjectives) subject to.

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

  • 5(forming adjectives) having the quality to.



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.