habit-, hab-, -hibit; habili-, habil-

(Latin: to dwell, to live; have, hold; that which may be easily handled, is suitable, fit properly; clothing)

ability (uh BIL i tee) (s), abilities (pl) (nouns)
1. The power or capacity to do or to act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.: "The students abilities resulted in their being able to accomplish the objectives presented by their teachers."
2. The competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification: "Henry had the ability to learn languages easily."
3. A particular gift for doing something well; abilities, talents; special skills or aptitudes: "Learning mathematics seems to be beyond Charline's abilities."
4. The quality of being suitable for or receptive to a specified treatment; especially, capable or talented with the capacity to achieve an objective: "The owners of the company wanted computers with the capacity to be configured for use as file servers."
5. Etymology: from Middle English abilite, from Old French ablete, habilite (French habilite); which came from Latin habilitatem, accusative form of habilitas, "aptitude, ability"; from habilis, "that which may be easily handled or managed, suitable, fit, proper".
ability grouping (s) (noun), ability groupings (pl)
A proces in which students with comparable skills are placed with others of similar talents: "The ability groupings that educators use involves the assignments of students in any of several courses of study according to to their abilities, achievements, or needs."
ability, capacity
ability (uh BIL i tee) (noun)
The power, gift, or competence to do or to act physically, mentally, legally, financially, etc.: Clara was a young woman with a remarkable musical ability.
capacity (kuh PAS uh tee) (noun)
1. Amount of room or space inside something; the largest amount that is possible of being held by a container: A gallon can has a capacity of four quarts (3.78 liters).
2. Capable of learning or doing; power or fitness: Last year's class of graduates demonstrated a great capacity for learning.

The ability of Congressman Brad Arnold to fill the capacity of the peoples' attention in every town on the lecture circuit was considered an amazing achievement.

Professor Cory apparently was able to demonstrate that his students have an insatiable capacity for obtaining information by using their computers.

able (adverb)
1. Having the necessary means, skill, know-how, or authority to do something; usually followed by to: "She is able to hold down a full time job and still have time for her children after school."
2. Physically, or mentally, equipped to do something; especially, because of circumstances and timing.
3. Having the power, skill, money, etc., that is needed to do something: "Matthew will buy a new pickup truck as soon as he is able to do it."
4. Having the freedom or opportunity to do something: "Jim, come and see us as soon as you are able to find the time."
5. Etymology: possibly from about 1375, borrowed from Old French hable, able; from Latin habilis, "easily managed, held", or "handled"; from habere, "to have, to hold".

The h of the Old French and Latin forms was never established in English, although Classical scholars tried to restore it in the 1500's and 1600's.

In the 1400's, habile was refashioned from Latin and is current today as a different form: able in modern use meaning "capable", habile, meaning "skillful". Derivative forms; such as, habilitate retain the h; ability has lost it.

—Special information from
The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology; Robert K. Barnhart, Editor;
The H.W. Wilson Company; 1988; page 3.
able (adjective), abler, ablest
1. Having enough power, skill, or means to do something; capable: "A cat is able to see in the dark."
2. Having more power or skill than usual; skillful: "She was an able teacher for more than 40 years."

"He turned out to be an able editor of the newspaper while his wife turned out to be one of the most able lawyers in her firm."

3. Expertly done; effective: "He presented an able speech even though he had just a few minutes to prepare for it."
4. Etymology: from Old French (h)able, from Latin habilis, "easily handled, apt", from habere, "to hold". "Easy to be held"; hence, "fit for a purpose".

The silent h- was dropped in English and resisted academic attempts to restore it in the 16th and 17th centuries, but some derivatives acquired the "h"; such as, with "habiliment" and "habilitate".

ably (adverb), more ably, most ably
Descriptive of how something is done very skillfully and very well; in a competent way: The carpenter was ably assisted by two helpers.
cohabit (verb), cohabits; cohabited; cohabiting
1. To room or to live together; usually said of people who are not married and live together as a husband and wife.
2. To coexist, as animals of different species; as shown at this Symbiosis page when a young hippopotamus and an old turtle cohabited as inseparable friends.
cohabitation (s) (noun), cohabitations (pl)
1. An emotional and physical relationship that includes a common living place and which exists without legal or religious sanction: The cohabitations of two couples existed in the two houses next door to each other.
2. The act of dwelling in or living in a place which may include both animals and/or humans: The cohabitation of two or more species of animals in the same area."
debenture (s) (noun), debentures (pl)
1. A bond backed only by the credit standing of the issuer, sometimes convertible into stock.
2. A certificate that acknowledges the existence of a debt of a particular amount owed to someone.
3. An unsecured bond issued by a civil or governmental corporation or agency and backed only by the credit standing of the issuer.
4. Etymology: a certificate of indebtedness from Latin debentur, "they are owing"; from debere, "to owe"; which is from de-, "away from" + habere, "to have".
debit (s) (noun), debits (pl)
1. An entry showing a debt, or expense, in a record of accounts; an accounting entry acknowledging sums that are owed.
2. The total of individual debit entries in an account: Sharon forgot to enter some of the debits in her check book.
3. Something that is disadvantageous or unfavorable: The pay may be better, but on the debit side there's a lot more work that needs to be done.
4. Etymology: from Middle French debet, from Latin debilitum, "thing owed"; past participle of debere, "to owe"; from Old French dete, from Latin debitam, "thing owed"; originally, "keep something away from someone"; from de-, "away" + habere, "to have".
debit (verb), debits; debited; debiting
An amount of money taken out of an account: Latonia's and Tony's bank account will automatically be debited for the amount of the couple's monthly rent.

Elijah's credit union account is automatically being debited each month to pay for his health insurance.

debit card (s) (noun), debit cards (pl)
A small plastic card that is used to buy things by having the money to pay for them taken directly from one's bank or credit union account.
debt (s) (noun), debts (pl)
1. An amount of money, a service, or an item of property that is owed to someone; an obligation to pay or to do something.
2. Something owed; such as, money, goods, or services; including an obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else.
3. Etymology: from about 1290, from Old French dete, which came from Latin debitam, "thing owed", past participle of debere, "to owe"; originally, "to keep something away from someone"; derived from de-, "away from" + habere, "to have".
debtor (s) (noun), debtors (pl)
1. A person who owes a creditor or someone who owes something to another person, business or to some other institution; such as, a bank, credit union, etc.
2. Someone who has the obligation of paying a debt.
3. Anyone who is guilty of a trespass or a sin; a sinner.
disability (s) (noun), disabilities (pl)
1. A condition in which someone is unable to perform because of physical or mental handicaps: When Susan fell on the steps she hurt her foot and, because of this disability, it was not possible for her to stand and make dinner in the kitchen that evening.
2. A medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to engage in the activities of daily life: Since Jane's eyesight was getting worse over the years, Dr. Smith said that, because of this disability, it would not be safe for her to drive her car anymore.
3. A condition, such as an illness or an injury, which damages or limits people's physical or mental capacities or functions: Greg's parents have learned to keep up positive attitudes about their son's disabilities which were acquired through a car accident the year before.
4. A sum of money paid to somebody, usually on a monthly basis, by a government agency or insurance company because a person is unable to work or to provide for the necessities of life: After their mother injured her back, she had to quit her job and go on disability.