Definition for A-BIL'I-TY

A-BIL'I-TY, n. [Fr. habileté; It. abilità; Sp. habilidad; L. habilitas, ableness, fitness, from habeo, to have or hold.]

  1. Physical power, whether bodily or mental; natural or acquired; force of understanding; skill in arts or science. Ability is active power, or power to perform; as opposed to capacity, or power to receive. In the plural, abilities is much used in a like sense; and also for faculties of the mind, and acquired qualifications. – Franklin.
  2. Riches, wealth, substance, which are the means, or which furnish the power, of doing certain acts. They gave according to their ability to the work. – Ezra ii.
  3. Moral power, depending on the will – a metaphysical and theological sense.
  4. Civil or legal power; the power or right to do certain things; as, an ability to transfer property or dispose of effects – ability to inherit. It is opposed to disability. – Cyc.

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