Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity; make able: a hole in the fence that enabled us to watch; techniques that enable surgeons to open and repair the heart.
  • transitive v. To make feasible or possible: funds that will enable construction of new schools.
  • transitive v. To give legal power, capacity, or sanction to: a law enabling the new federal agency.
  • transitive v. To make operational; activate: enabled the computer's modem; enable a nuclear warhead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give strength or ability to; to make firm and strong.
  • v. To make able (to do, or to be, something); to confer sufficient power upon; to furnish with means, opportunities, and the like; to render competent for; to empower; to endow.
  • v. To allow a way out or excuse for an action.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To give strength or ability to; to make firm and strong.
  • transitive v. To make able (to do, or to be, something); to confer sufficient power upon; to furnish with means, opportunities, and the like; to render competent for; to empower; to endow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make able; furnish with adequate power, ability, means, or authority; render competent.
  • To put in an efficient state or condition; endow; equip; fit out.
  • Synonyms To empower, qualify, capacitate.
  • To give ability or competency.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. render capable or able for some task

Etymologies

en- +‎ able (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I understand your need for emphasis to sell, but using the word enable makes it seem like Joe hand-picked the boys for Sandusky.

    Onward State: National Media Misses The Mark on Penn State Scandal

  • She says: The word enable can be contrasted with the word empower.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • It was prohibited to charge for parking here until laws could be written and adopted to again enable charging for parking legally.

    Charging for parking

  • It is notorious that our middle-class liberals have long looked forward to this consummation, when the working-class shall join forces with them, aid them heartily to carry forward their great works, go in a body to their tea - meetings, and, in short, enable them to bring about their millennium.

    Culture and Anarchy

  • The terms enable Mercator Gold at its discretion to drawdown up to GBP4m in tranches, pursuant to the terms of the SEDA, in exchange for the purchase of newly issued shares.

    Daily News

  • It seems to be his preferred method of reaching the public these days, as the calls enable Cuomo to avoid rapid-fire questions from reporters eager to pin him down on his political plans.

    News10Now - TOP STORIES

  • But among the many things we learn from the worrisome/exhilarating "Countdown to Zero" is that, up until 1977, those so-called enable codes were all set to a single number zero.

    'Salt': Fun, if Not Quite a Meal

  • Loose lending terms enable many firms to avoid debt default.

    Banks still waiting for restructuring boom

  • For it too would enable a rapid departure from Iraq, would enable, that is, a rapid change in accordance with the electoral dictate of November 7th.

    Pretending That November 7th Never Happened.

  • Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group - as well as hundreds of top independent labels enable Gracenote to incorporate new music information and enriched content into its media database before many songs are released.

    StreetInsider.com News Articles

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