- -able (productive)
- An adjective suffix, now usually in a passive sense; forms adjectives meaning "able to be", "relevant or suitable to, in accordance with", or expressing capacity or worthiness in a passive sense.
- The form -able is used in the same sense and is pronounced the same.
- Generally not productive in English – most words ending in -ible are borrowed from Latin, or Old or Middle French, while -able is more common for producing new words. Examples of production in English include collectible.
- In general, forms derived from Latin verbs of the second, third, and fourth conjugations take -ible, as well as a few words whose roots end in a soft c or g. All other words take -able, particularly words from the Latin first conjugation, words that evolved through French, and words from Anglo-Saxon.
- Fowler, in his English Usage, recommended using -ible for simplicity in spelling with any verb whose root ends in a soft c or g (such as changible vs. changeable), but this recommendation has generally not been followed.
- Adjectives ending in -ible are occasionally nominalized, as in dirigible, foible, submersible. The adjective sense may become obsolete, as in foible.
- A few words end in “ible” but are not related to this suffix, instead being of different origin, generally a similar Latin suffix. Examples include crucible and mandible. See Etymology 2, below, for details.
- runcible spoon
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin -i- + -bulum (instrumental suffix) or -bula (instrumental suffix), from Proto-Indo-European *-dʰlom. Related to Latin suffixes -brum (candelabrum) and -bra (vertebra).
- An instrumental suffix; forms nouns representing:
- a tool or instrument
- crucible, mandible, thurible
- a place or location
- a tool or instrument
This use of -ible and its related form -able are not productive in English. Confusion may arise from mistaking nouns ending with these suffixes as being forms derived from the adjectival suffixes mentioned in Etymology 1 above.
-ible (masculine and feminine plural -ibles)
- -ible (variant of -able)