ability

Ability is skill or talent. You might have the ability to blow bubbles, or sing in a falsetto, or dance the waltz. Or, just maybe, you have the ability to do all three things at once. Impressive!

From the Old French ablate "expert at handling (something)," and that from the Latin habilitatem, "aptitude," comes the English ability, a noun indicating the power to act, perform, or accomplish. Capacity is similar in meaning to ability, but note that people have a capacity for doing something, and an ability to do something.

Definitions of ability
  1. noun
    the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment
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    Antonyms:
    inability, unfitness
    lacking the power to perform
    types:
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    adaptability
    the ability to change (or be changed) to fit changed circumstances
    sensitiveness, sensitivity
    the ability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment
    competence, competency
    the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually
    form
    an ability to perform well
    interoperability
    (computer science) the ability to exchange and use information (usually in a large heterogeneous network made up of several local area networks)
    magical ability, magical power
    an ability to perform magic
    Midas touch
    an ability to make and manage large amounts of money
    penetration
    the ability to make way into or through something
    physical ability
    the ability to perform some physical act; contrasting with mental ability
    contractility
    the capability or quality of shrinking or contracting, especially by muscle fibers and even some other forms of living matter
    capability, capableness
    the quality of being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally
    totipotence, totipotency
    the ability of a cell to give rise to unlike cells and so to develop a new organism or part
    immunocompetence
    the ability to develop an immune response following exposure to an antigen
    flexibility, flexibleness
    the quality of being adaptable or variable
    malleability, pliability, pliancy, pliantness, suppleness
    adaptability of mind or character
    associability, associableness
    the capability of being easily associated or joined or connected in thought
    antenna, feeler
    sensitivity similar to that of a receptor organ
    defensiveness
    excessive sensitivity to criticism
    perceptiveness
    the quality of insight and sympathetic understanding
    fitness
    the quality of being qualified
    linguistic competence
    (linguistics) a speaker's implicit, internalized knowledge of the rules of their language (contrasted with linguistic performance)
    proficiency
    the quality of having great facility and competence
    lycanthropy
    (folklore) the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolf
    astringency, stypsis
    the ability to contract or draw together soft body tissues to check blood flow or restrict secretion of fluids
    voice
    the ability to speak
    defensibility
    capability of being defended
    executability
    capability of being executed
    capacity
    capability to perform or produce
    military capability, military posture, military strength, posture, strength
    capability in terms of personnel and materiel that affect the capacity to fight a war
    operating capability, performance capability
    the capability of a technological system to perform as intended
    overkill
    the capability to obliterate a target with more weapons (especially nuclear weapons) than are required
    type of:
    quality
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
  2. noun
    possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done
    synonyms: power
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    Antonyms:
    inability
    lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
    types:
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    know-how
    the (technical) knowledge and skill required to do something
    leadership
    the ability to lead
    intelligence
    the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
    aptitude
    inherent ability
    bilingualism
    the ability to speak two languages colloquially
    capacity, mental ability
    the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
    creative thinking, creativeness, creativity
    the ability to create
    originality
    the ability to think and act independently
    science, skill
    ability to produce solutions in some problem domain
    accomplishment, acquirement, acquisition, attainment, skill
    an ability that has been acquired by training
    hand
    ability
    superior skill
    more than ordinary ability
    faculty, mental faculty, module
    one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
    bag of tricks
    a supply of ways of accomplishing something
    sapience, wisdom
    ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight
    generalship
    the leadership ability of a military general
    brain, brainpower, learning ability, mental capacity, mentality, wit
    mental ability
    breadth, comprehensiveness, largeness
    the capacity to understand a broad range of topics
    intellect, mind
    knowledge and intellectual ability
    nonverbal intelligence
    intelligence that is manifested in the performance of tasks requiring little or no use of language
    verbal intelligence
    intelligence in the use and comprehension of language
    mental quickness, quick-wittedness, quickness
    intelligence as revealed by an ability to give correct responses without delay
    mental dexterity, nimbleness
    intelligence as revealed by quickness and alertness of mind
    brilliance, genius
    unusual mental ability
    precociousness, precocity
    intelligence achieved far ahead of normal developmental schedules
    acuity, acuteness, keenness, sharpness
    a quick and penetrating intelligence
    brightness, cleverness, smartness
    intelligence as manifested in being quick and witty
    astuteness, perspicaciousness, perspicacity, shrewdness
    intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)
    marbles, wits
    the basic human power of intelligent thought and perception
    inherent aptitude, instinct
    inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli
    capability, capableness, potentiality
    an aptitude that may be developed
    natural ability
    ability that is inherited
    fecundity, fruitfulness
    the intellectual productivity of a creative imagination
    flight
    passing above and beyond ordinary bounds
    genius, wizardry
    exceptional creative ability
    imagination, imaginativeness, vision
    the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses
    conception, design, excogitation, innovation, invention
    the creation of something in the mind
    cleverness, ingeniousness, ingenuity, inventiveness
    the power of creative imagination
    innovativeness
    originality by virtue of introducing new ideas
    unconventionality
    originality by virtue of being unconventional
    freshness, novelty
    originality by virtue of being new and surprising
    nose
    a natural skill
    virtuosity
    technical skill or fluency or style exhibited by a virtuoso
    craft, craftsmanship, workmanship
    skill in an occupation or trade
    horsemanship
    skill in handling and riding horses
    literacy
    the ability to read and write
    marksmanship
    skill in shooting
    mastership
    the skill of a master
    mixology
    skill in preparing mixed drinks
    art, artistry, prowess
    a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation
    numeracy
    skill with numbers and mathematics
    oarsmanship
    skill as an oarsman
    salesmanship
    skill in selling; skill in persuading people to buy
    seamanship
    skill in sailing
    showmanship
    the ability to present something (especially theatrical shows) in an attractive manner
    soldiering, soldiership
    skills that are required for the life of soldier
    swordsmanship
    skill in fencing
    attention
    the faculty or power of mental concentration
    language, speech
    the mental faculty or power of vocal communication
    memory, retention, retentiveness, retentivity
    the power of retaining and recalling past experience
    intellect, reason, understanding
    the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
    sensation, sense, sensory faculty, sentience, sentiency
    the faculty through which the external world is apprehended
    volition, will
    the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention
    method
    a way of doing something, especially a systematic way; implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps)
    prescience, prevision
    the power to foresee the future
    type of:
    cognition, knowledge, noesis
    the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
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