WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
a•bly  blē),USA pronunciation adv. 
  1. in an able manner;
    with skill or ability;
  • Middle English abelli. See able, -ly 1350–1400

  • a suffix combining  -able and  -ly that forms adverbs corresponding to adjectives ending in  -able: commendably;
  • Also,  -ibly. 
    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
    a•ble /ˈeɪbəl/USA pronunciation   adj. (for def. 2) a•bler, a•blest. 
    1. having the necessary power, skill, knowledge, or resources to do something:[be + ~ + to + verb]able to read music after just a few lessons.
    2. having or showing unusual talent, intelligence, skill, or knowledge:an able leader.
    a•bly, adv. 
      able is an adjective that usually comes after some form of be, ably is an adverb, ability is a noun:John is able to run fast. He did the work ably and efficiently. John has the ability to run fast.See -habil-.

    -able,  suffix. 
    1. -able is used to form adjectives from verbs, with the meaning "capable of, fit for, tending to'': teach + -able → teachable (= capable of being taught);
      photograph + -able → photographable = (fit for photographing).
    Compare -ible.
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
    a•ble  bəl),USA pronunciation adj.,  a•bler, a•blest, n. 
    1. having necessary power, skill, resources, or qualifications;
      qualified:able to lift a two-hundred-pound weight; able to travel widely;able to vote.
    2. having unusual or superior intelligence, skill, etc.:an able leader.
    3. showing talent, skill, or knowledge:an able speech.
    4. Lawlegally empowered, qualified, or authorized.

    1. Telecommunications(usually cap.) a code word formerly used in communications to represent the letter A.
    • Latin habilis handy, equivalent. to hab(ēre) to have, hold + -ilis -ile
    • Middle French
    • Middle English 1275–1325
      • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fit, fitted.
        Able, capable, competent all mean possessing adequate power for doing something.
        Able implies power equal to effort required:able to finish in time.Capable implies power to meet or fulfill ordinary requirements:a capable worker.Competent suggests power to meet demands in a completely satisfactory manner:a competent nurse.
      • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged talented;
        skilled, clever, ingenious.
      • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged apt.
      • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged incompetent.

  • a suffix meaning "capable of, susceptible of, fit for, tending to, given to,'' associated in meaning with the word  able, occurring in loanwords from Latin (laudable);
    used in English as a highly productive suffix to form adjectives by addition to stems of any origin (teachable;
  • Also,  -ble, -ible. 
    • Latin -ābilis, equivalent. to -ā- final vowel of 1st conjugation verb, verbal stems + -bilis
    • Old French
    • Middle English

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    ably /ˈeɪblɪ/ adv
    1. in a competent or skilful manner

    'ably' also found in these entries:

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