capability

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Formed in Modern English as capable +‎ -ity.

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Noun[edit]

capability (countable and uncountable, plural capabilities)

  1. the power or ability to generate an outcome
  2. (computing) A digital token allowing a user or process to interact in a specified way with an object that is subject to access control. [from 1960s]
    • 1987 November, Richard Y. Kain; Carl E. Landwehr, “On Access Checking in Capability-Based Systems”, in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering[1], volume SE-13, number 2, pages 202-207:
      Enforcing a security policy means controlling the rights users can acquire to data. In a capability machine, a user’s rights are defined by the capabilities he (or a process acting on his behalf) can obtain and the access rights conferred by those capabilities.

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