When you make something possible, you enable it. Your good grades might enable you to get into your first-choice college. And a great teacher enabled you to get such good grades.

Enable has taken on the meaning of allowing or even helping someone continue to do something they really shouldn't. If your mother writes note after note to get you out of school for no good reason, she is enabling your habit of playing hooky. While you might think she's being cool, a therapist might call her an enabler and give her part of the blame.

Definitions of enable
  1. verb
    render capable or able for some task
    “This skill will enable you to find a job on Wall Street”
    “The rope enables you to secure yourself when you climb the mountain”
    see moresee less
    disable, disenable, incapacitate
    make unable to perform a certain action
    provide with abilities or understanding
    empower, endow, endue, gift, imbue, indue, invest
    give qualities or abilities to
    invest with a large or excessive amount of something
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week