English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English enablen, equivalent to en- +‎ able.

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Verb edit

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enable (third-person singular simple present enables, present participle enabling, simple past and past participle enabled)

  1. To make somebody able (to do, or to be, something); to give sufficient ability or power to do or to be; to give strength or ability to.
    Synonyms: empower, endow
  2. To affirm; to make firm and strong.
  3. To qualify or approve for some role or position; to render sanction or authorization to; to confirm suitability for.
    Synonyms: let, permit, authorize
  4. To yield the opportunity or provide the possibility for something; to provide with means, opportunities, and the like.
    Synonym: allow
    • 1711 October 24 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison], “SATURDAY, October 13, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 195; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 506:
      Temperance gives Nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigor.
      The spelling has been modernized.
    • April 16, 2018, Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan writing in The New York Times, ‘They Eat Money’: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, pages 72–3:
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
    • 2009, Meribeth A. Dayme, Dynamics of the Singing Voice, Springer Science & Business Media, page 174:
      Trainers of modern athletes monitor performance by using high tech equipment and biometric bodysuits with embedded sensors to enable detailed analysis of movement, balance, efficiency for athletic performance.
    • 2022 January 12, David Clough, “From Germany with love: a Warship retrospective”, in RAIL, number 948, page 49:
      During 1971-72, spare Type 4s on other regions enabled the whole class to be sidelined, with Class 43s going first.
  5. To imply or tacitly confer excuse for an action or a behavior.
    His parents enabled him to go on buying drugs.
  6. (electronics) To put a circuit element into action by supplying a suitable input pulse.
  7. (chiefly electronics, computing) To activate, to make operational (especially of a function of an electronic or mechanical device).
    Synonyms: activate, turn on
    Antonym: disable

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