ORIGIN

From French -able or Latin -abilis; originally found in words only from these forms but later used to form adjectives directly from English verbs ending in -ate, e.g. educable from educate; subsequently used to form adjectives from verbs of all types (influenced by the unrelated word able), e.g. bearable, saleable

USAGE

  • The suffix able is not etymologically connected with the word able; the suffix is from French –able and Latin –ābilis; the word able is from Old French hable, from Latin habilis ‘handy’, from habere ‘to hold’.
  • Some derived adjs are of Germanic origin (e.g. unspeakable, doable), or of Romance origin but not connected with French (e.g. praisable, prayable).
  • It can often be attached to verbs ending in -ate (e.g. educable), or to bases that can be both verbs and nouns (e.g. saleable, marriageable, changeable, debatable, rateable).
  • It is often confused with the adj suffix ible. Opposite adjs are often un…able; also common are in…able adjs; remember these only two exceptions recorded in the OALD and CALD: unfeasible, unintelligible (not unfeasable or unintelligable).
  • It can also be attached to prepositional verbs, e.g. (un)come-at-able, (un)get-at-able, laugh-at-able, unputdownable. Most of these terms are now dated, very uncommon, and informal.

abominable,  absorbable,  (un)acceptable,  (un)accountable,  (un)achievable,  actionable,  adaptable,  addressable,  adjustable,  admirable,  adorable,  (in)advisable,  affable,  (un)affordable,  (dis)agreeable,  (in/un)alienable,  allowable,  (un)alterable,  amenable,  ami(c)able,  amortisable,  (un)answerable,  (in)applicable,  appreciable,  (un)approachable,  arable,  (un)arguable,  arrestable,  ascertainable,  ascribable,  assessable,  assimilable,  (un)attainable,  attributable,  (un)available,  (un)avoidable,  bankable,  (un)bearable,  (un)believable,  bendable,  biddable,  ((non-)bio)degradable,  bloggable,  bookable,  (un)breakable,  breathable,  (in)calculable,  (in)capable,  certifiable,  (inter/un)changeable,  (re)chargeable,  (un)charitable,  classifiable,  clickable,  collectable,  (un)comfortable,  commendable,  (non-)communicable,  commutable,  companionable,  (in)comparable,  compostable,  computable,  (in)conceivable,  conformable,  confusable,  (in)considerable,  consumable,  contactable,  (un)controllable,  (un)countable,  covetable,  (dis)creditable,  culpable,  cultivable,  (in)curable,  damnable,  datable,  debatable,  deductable,  defendable,  (in)definable,  delectable,  demonstrable,  (un)deniable,  dependable,  deplorable,  (in)describable,  (un)desirable,  despicable,  detachable,  (un)detectable,  determinable,  detestable,  discoverable,  (in)dispensable,  disposable,  (in)disputable,  (in)distinguishable,  dividable,  doable,  downloadable,  (un)drinkable,  durable,  dutiable,  (un)eatable,  editable,  electable,  (un)employable,  (un)endurable,  (un)enforceable,  enjoyable,  equable,  (in)equitable,  (in)estimable,  (un)exceptionable,  exchangeable,  excitable,  (in)excusable,  execrable,  executable,  expandable,  expendable,  (in)explicable,  exploitable,  exportable,  extendable,  extraditable,  fanciable,  (un)fashionable,  (un)favo(u)rable,  (non-/in)flammable,  fordable,  (un)foreseeable,  (un)forgettable,  (un)forgivable,  formidable,  friable,  (non-)gradable,  (unin/in)habitable,  (in)heritable,  (dis)hono(u)rable,  (in)hospitable,  huggable,  (un)identifiable,  (un)imaginable,  (un)impeachable,  impeccable,  imperturbable,  implacable,  imponderable,  impregnable,  impressionable,  imprisonable,  incommensurable,  inconsolable,  incontestable,  indecipherable,  indefatigable,  indictable,  indomitable,  indubitable,  ineffable,  ineluctable,  ineradicable,  inescapable,  inevitable,  inexorable,  inextinguisable,  inextricable,  inflatable,  inimitable,  innumerable,  insatiable,  inscrutable,  insufferable,  insuperable,  interminable,  interpretable,  inviolable,  irreproachable,  irrevocable,  irritable,  (un)justifiable,  kissable,  (un)knowable,  knowledgeable,  lamentable,  laudable,  laughable,  liable,  lik(e)able,  listenable,  liv(e)able,  lockable,  lov(e)able,  unlovable,  malleable,  (un)manageable,  maneuverable,  manoeuvrable,  marketable,  marriageable,  (im)measurable,  (un)memorable,  merchantable,  microwav(e)able,  miserable,  (un)mistak(e)able,  mov(e)able,  immovable,  (im)mutable,  navigable,  (non-)negotiable,  notable,  noticeable,  notifiable,  (un)objectionable,  observable,  (un)obtainable,  (in(ter))operable,  ovenable,  (un)palatable,  (im)palpable,  (un)pardonable,  (im)passable,  (re)payable,  peaceable,  (im)penetrable,  pensionable,  (im)perishable,  (gas-/im/semi)permeable,  personable,  photocopiable,  pitiable,  (un)playable,  pleasurable,  pliable,  portable,  potable,  (im)practicable,  (un)predictable,  preferable,  presentable,  preventable,  (un)printable,  (im)probable,  (un)profitable,  programmable,  (un)pronounceable,  provable,  punishable,  quaffable,  quantifiable,  (un)questionable,  quotable,  rateable,  reachable,  (machine-/un)readable,  realisable,  (un)reasonable,  receivable,  (un)recognisable,  (ir)reconcilable,  (ir)recoverable,  rectifiable,  recyclable,  (ir)redeemable,  redoubtable,  referable,  refillable,  (non-)refundable,  (ir)refutable,  regrettable,  (un)reliable,  (un)remarkable,  (ir)remediable,  removable,  (non-)renewable,  (ir)repairable,  (un)repeatable,  (ir)replaceable,  replicable,  (dis)reputable,  resealable,  respectable,  (ir)retrievable,  (non-)returnable,  rewritable,  (un)sal(e)able,  salvageable,  scalable,  searchable,  (un)seasonable,  (in)separable,  (un)serviceable,  shockable,  siz(e)able,  skinnable,  (un)sociable,  (in)solvable,  specifiable,  (un)stable,  (un)suitable,  (in)supportable,  (in)surmountable,  survivable,  (un)sustainable,  tameable,  taxable,  teachable,  (un)tenable,  testable,  (un)thinkable,  (in)tolerable,  traceable,  (in/re)tractable,  trad(e)able,  transferable,  transportable,  treasonable,  treatable,  tweetable,  unassailable,  unbeatable,  unbridgeable,  unchallengeable,  unconquerable,  unconscionable,  unconsolable,  uncrushable,  understandable,  unfathomable,  unflappable,  ungovernable,  uninsurable,  unmentionable,  unmissable,  unputdownable,  unquenchable,  unshak(e)able,  unspeakable,  unstoppable,  untenable,  unthinkable,  untouchable,  (re/un)usable,  unutterable,  utilisable,  (in)valuable,  (in)variable,  VATable,  venerable,   verifiable,  veritable,  ((un)en)viable,  (in)vulnerable,  washable,  watchable,  wearable,  (un)workable
Only available upon request
Only available upon request
Only available upon request