ability Definition

  • 1possession of the means or skill to do something
  • 2talent, aptitude, or proficiency in a particular area

Using ability: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "ability" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She has the ability to speak five languages fluently.

  • Example

    The job requires a certain level of technical ability.

  • Example

    His athletic ability is impressive.

  • Example

    The program is designed to help students improve their writing abilities.

ability Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for ability

Phrases with ability

  • the financial capacity to meet one's obligations


    The court will consider the defendant's ability to pay before setting the fine.

  • the practice of dividing students into groups based on their academic ability


    The school uses ability grouping to better tailor instruction to each student's needs.

  • a standardized test designed to measure a person's aptitude or proficiency in a particular area


    The company requires all applicants to take an ability test as part of the hiring process.

Origins of ability

from Latin 'abilitas', meaning 'fitness'


Summary: ability in Brief

The term 'ability' [əˈbɪləti] refers to possession of the means or skill to do something, or talent, aptitude, or proficiency in a particular area. It can be used to describe a wide range of skills and talents, from language fluency to athletic prowess. Phrases like 'ability to pay' and 'ability grouping' use 'ability' to denote financial capacity and academic grouping, respectively.

How do native speakers use this expression?