From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishabilitya‧bil‧i‧ty /əˈbɪləti/ ●●●S2W1 noun (plural abilities) 🔊 🔊 1[countable]CAN the state of being able to do somethingability to do something 🔊 the ability to walk 🔊 The health center serves all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.2LEVEL[countable, uncountable] someone’s level of skill at doing something 🔊 The test measures your mathematical ability. 🔊 mixed ability classesof high/low etc ability 🔊 students of average ability 🔊 There are musicians of all abilities.somebody's abilities as something 🔊 He showed his abilities as a leader.3 →to the best of your abilityGrammarAbility is followed by an infinitive with ‘to’, not by an -ing form. You say: I admire his ability to listen.✗Don’t say: I admire his ability of listening.COLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2adjectiveshigh/low/average abilitya group of low ability pupilsMany of these students are of above average ability.Children of high ability demand more absorbing tasks.great/considerable abilityHe was a young man of great ability.These drawings required considerable ability on the part of the artist.remarkable/outstanding/exceptional abilitya writer of remarkable abilityThe company aims to select people of outstanding ability.his exceptional ability as a swimmermixed ability (=at different levels)a mixed ability classuncanny ability (=an unusual ability that is difficult to explain)He has an uncanny ability for spotting investment opportunities.natural ability (also innate ability formal) (=an ability that you are born with)He didn't have the natural ability of his brother.Babies have an innate ability to do simple maths. physical/athletic abilityHe has considerable athletic ability.artistic/creative abilityYou do not need to have any artistic ability.musical abilityTim showed musical ability at an early age.acting abilityHer acting abilities were obvious straightaway.mental abilityThe exercises are supposed to help you improve your mental ability.intellectual/academic abilityNo one doubts his intellectual abilities.A degree is evidence of your academic ability in a particular subject area.verbal/linguistic ability (=language skills)The test is intended to measure the children's linguistic ability.mathematical abilityThese students have a higher level of mathematical ability.proven ability (=that you have proved through your achievements)Companies often value the proven ability and reliability of older employees.verbshave the ability to do something (also possess the ability to do something formal)She has the ability to make people feel relaxed. show/demonstrate the ability to do somethinga chance for candidates to demonstrate their abilities lack the ability to do somethingAs a young man, he lacked the ability to say no.phrasesa level of ability/ability levelThe children were of the same age and ability level.a range of ability/ability rangeThere is a wide range of ability within the class.Disruptive behaviour is more prominent in the lower ability range.a test of ability/an ability testExaminations are not always a good test of ability.The class was given a verbal ability test.an ability group (=a group that students are taught in, based on their level of ability)Children are divided into different ability groups.