-able

(Latin: suffix; expressing capacity, fitness to do that which can be handled or managed, suitable skills to accomplish something; capable of being done, something which can be finished, etc.)

A suffix that forms adjectives. The suffix -ible has related meanings; expressing ability, capacity, fitness; capable of, fit for, able to be done, can be done, inclined to, tending to, given to.

This list is only a small sample of the thousands of -able words that exist in English.

abdicable (adjective), more abdicable, most abdicable
That which can be discarded, renounced, relinquished, or not wanted: Gina's abdicable responsibilities had been an excessive burden for her; so, she had no regrets when she left her position as manager of the two stores.
-able (uh buhl; depending on word to which it is attached)
A suffix that forms adjectives from verbs and nouns.
1. That which can be — ed: Enjoyable = that which can be enjoyed.
2. Giving —; suitable for —: Comfortable = giving comfort.
3. Inclined to — ed: Peaceable = inclined to peace.
4. Deserving to be — ed: Lovable = deserving to be loved.
5. Liable to be — ed: Breakable = liable to be broken.
abolishable (adjective), more abolishable, most abolishable
That which can be done away with wholly or made void; such as, the end of a law, a system, a custom, or an institution: "Congress determined that the abolishable law should be terminated now."

"The antiquated system of managing public transportation is an abolishable system so it should be replaced."

abominable (adjective), more abominable, most abominable
1. Loathsome, extremely repugnant, reprehensible, shocking, or offensive: "Murder is considered to be one of the most abominable crimes committed by anyone."

"Nathan had the abominable habit of chewing his fingernails in public."

2. Extremely unpleasant or of very bad quality, or very unpleasant to experience: "The abominable food that was served in that restaurant tasted terrible and Jim told the manager that he can be sure that they will never go there again."

"The abominable weather was the worst that people had experienced in a long time."

3. A bad omen; nasty and disgusting; vile; loathsome: "The flood included abominable sewerage that was flowing into the basements and ground-floor rooms of the houses."
4. A statement that describes something that is deplorable, shocking, or awful: "That the homeless were forced out of the shelter this winter was an abominable decision."
5. Etymology: derived from Latin abominari, "to detest something as an ill omen".

From the 14th until the 17th century, the word was spelled abhominable because people thought it came from the Latin phrase ab homine, meaning "away from man", and so, "inhuman, beastly".

This misunderstanding has permanently affected the meaning of the word.



Word History

Between the 14th and the 17th centuries, abominable was often spelled abhominable, because of a widely held belief that it was derived from Latin ab hominem; literally, "away from humankind", therefore "unnatural, beastly". Shakespeare puns on this sense when Hamlet speaks of incompetent actors who "imitate humanity abominably."

—Compiled from information located in the
Encarta World English Dictionary; St. Martins Press;
New York; 1999; page 4.
Very unpleasant.
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abradable (adjective)
1. Capable of wearing down or rubbing away by friction; able to erode.
2. Able to make weary through constant irritation; to wear down spiritually.
acceptable (adjective)
accountable (adjective)
1. Subject to the obligation to report, to explain, or to justify something; being responsible; answerable.
2. Capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.
accusable (adjective)
acidifiable (adjective)
Capable of being converted into, or of combining so as to form, an acid.
acquaintable (adjective)
Easy to be acquainted with; affable.
acquirable (adjective), more acquirable, most acquirable
Descriptive of something that can be possessed; available; obtainable: "Owning the silver pitcher seemed to be the most acquirable object for the bidder at the auction."
adaptable (adjective)
adjustable (adjective), more adjustable, most adjustable
1. That which can be changed in shape, size, or position according to what is wanted or needed.
2. The ability to adapt or to conform to a situation; such as, as to new conditions or a different environment.
3. Capable of being modified; such as, adjustable seat belts.
4. Regarding loans, mortgages, etc.; having a flexible rate, as one based on money market interest rates or on the rate of inflation or cost of living.
admirable (adjective), more admirable, most admirable
1. Deserving of the highest esteem or respect: "Dependableness was his most admirable quality."
2. Inspiring approval and admiration: "The TV documentary did a more admirable job of showing what actually happened than the government reports did."
admittable (adjective)