What does enabling mean?

Definitions for enabling
ɛnˈeɪ blɪŋen·abling

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word enabling.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enablingadjective

    providing legal power or sanction

    "an enabling resolution"; "enabling power"


  1. Enabling

    In psychotherapy and mental health, enabling has a positive sense of empowering individuals, or a negative sense of encouraging dysfunctional behavior.


  1. enabling

    Enabling is the act of supporting or facilitating someone's negative or harmful behavior, often out of a sense of love, compassion, or a desire to protect them. It involves enabling someone to continue their destructive habits or addiction, shielding them from the consequences of their actions, and preventing them from learning to take responsibility for their behavior. Enabling ultimately hinders personal growth, recovery, and accountability for the individual involved.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Enabling

    of Enable


  1. Enabling

    Enabling is a term with a double meaning. As a positive term, it references patterns of interaction which allow individuals to develop and grow. These may be on any scale, for example within the family, or in wider society as "Enabling acts" designed to empower some group, or create a new authority for a body. In a negative sense, enabling is also used in the context of problematic behavior, to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem. A common theme of enabling in this latter sense is that third parties take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person's harmful conduct. The practical effect is that the person himself or herself does not have to do so, and is shielded from awareness of the harm it may do, and the need or pressure to change. It is a major environmental cause of addiction. A common example of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse. The spouse believes incorrectly that he or she is helping the alcoholic by calling into work for them, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment. In reality what the spouse is doing is hurting, not helping. Enabling prevents psychological growth in the person being enabled and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler.

Editors Contribution

  1. enablingverb

    Verb form of the word enable.

    The enabling factor was love.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 4, 2020  

How to pronounce enabling?

How to say enabling in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of enabling in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of enabling in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of enabling in a Sentence

  1. Johnny Phillips:

    California isn't circling the drain because it’s too big to govern. The state is a basket case because ruling Democrats have an unquenchable thirst for emptying the prisons, enabling an exploding homeless population and jacking up every imaginable tax, since the 1990s the state and its voters have drifted far to the left.

  2. Jerry Nadler:

    The Department's decision reflects President Trump's blanket defiance of Congress's constitutionally mandated duties, in the coming days, I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless Administration. The Committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover up.

  3. Jamal Khashoggi:

    The promise of accountability was the only check on this guy [ MBS ], now it's gone, when the President of the US goes to this murderer's hometown to appease him, he's not only glossing over his past heinous crimes with stunning impunity but enabling his future ones. It's a wink-wink nudge-nudge to commit the next crime in a cleaner, less messy fashion.

  4. Chief Executive Michael Katchen:

    There are great ways to introduce payment for order flows, in particular if the broker decides to share revenue with clients, enabling better price execution, in the U.S., because of a lack of transparency, and a misunderstanding of the business model, there was a huge backlash against this.

  5. Christen Kuikoua:

    Education is a gift that empowers minds, unlocks potential, and paves the way for a brighter future. While it may not be everything, it builds common sense, enabling us to embrace knowledge and personal growth, ultimately shaping individuals into architects of their destinies.

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Translations for enabling

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"enabling." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/enabling>.

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    express strong disapproval of
    A condemn
    B restore
    C acclaim
    D jeopardize

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