A capability is something a person or a thing is able to do. It's hard to find a cell phone that doesn't include other capabilities, like taking pictures or storing MP3s.

Inside the word capability is the word ability. Note the fine distinction between them. If you have an ability, it means you know how to do something. If you have a capability, it means you have the power to do something. Buying uranium gives a country the capability of making nuclear weapons, but first they need scientists with the ability to do the work.

Definitions of capability
  1. noun
    the quality of being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally
    “he worked to the limits of his capability
    synonyms: capableness
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    incapability, incapableness
    the quality of not being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally
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    associability, associableness
    the capability of being easily associated or joined or connected in thought
    capability of being defended
    capability of being executed
    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
    the capability to obliterate a target with more weapons (especially nuclear weapons) than are required
    sea power
    naval strength
    (military) the relative capacity for delivering fire on a target
    the maximum operating capability of a system (especially an aircraft)
    type of:
    the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment
  2. noun
    an aptitude that may be developed
    synonyms: capableness, potentiality
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    incapability, incapableness
    lack of potential for development
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    the capability of becoming perfect
    compass, grasp, range, reach
    the limit of capability
    the capability of becoming imperfect
    ken, sight
    the range of vision
    type of:
    inherent ability
  3. noun
    the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment
    “the capability of a metal to be fused”
    synonyms: capacity
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    the capacity of an organism to defend itself against harmful environmental agents
    (chemistry) the capacity of a substance to take part in a chemical reaction
    type of:
    susceptibility, susceptibleness
    the state of being susceptible; easily affected
Word Family

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