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unable (not, necessary means)

Definition:

not having the necessary means, skill, or know-how

Class:

adjective (modifies a noun)

Usage:

usually followed by "to"

Comparative:

more unable

Superlative:

most unable

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Described by:

ability

Usage examples:

  • unable to get to town without a car
  • unable to obtain funds

Etymology:

"lacking in ability, incapable", from "un-" (1) "not" + "able". Modeled on Old...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

All senses of unable...

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

unable | incompetent [synonym, sense-specific]

[postpositive, followed by] to lacking the necessary power, ability, or authority (to do something); not able | [archaic] incompetent (18 of 361 words, 2 definitions, 8 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/unable

Wikipedia:

Able [disambiguation]

may refer to: In science and technology: Able, a U.S. 1946 nuclear weapon test, part of Operation Crossroads | ABLE (programming language), a simplified programming language | Able space probes, probes in the Pioneer program | Able, one of the first... (38 of 216 words, 20 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Able

Merriam-Webster:

unable | unqualified [synonym] | impotent [synonym] | incompetent [synonym] | helpless [synonym] | inapt [synonym] | incapable [synonym] | inept [synonym] | inexpert [synonym] | ...

not able; "incapable": as ; "unqualified", "incompetent" ; "impotent", "helpless" (10 of 117 words, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/unable

Macmillan British Dictionary:

unable | unable to do something

"unable to do something": [formal] not able to do something. In ordinary speech can't do something is the more usual way of saying this (24 of 102 words, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/unable

American Heritage Dictionary:

unable

Lacking the necessary power, authority, or means; not able; incapable | Lacking mental or physical capability or efficiency; incompetent | ... (18 of 54 words, 3 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/unable

Oxford Dictionary:

unable

Syllabification: (un·a·ble) | [with infinitive] | lacking the skill, means, or opportunity to do something (13 of 47 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/american english​/unable

unable [with infinitive]

lacking the skill, means, or opportunity to do something (9 of 44 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/unable

Cambridge Dictionary:

unable | be unable to do something

to not be able to do something (7 of 25 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/unable

Wiktionary:

unable

Not able; lacking a certain ability. (6 of 23 words, 1 usage example)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/unable

Random House Dictionary:

unable

lacking the necessary power, competence, etc., to accomplish some specified act. (11 of 21 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/unable

New World Dictionary:

unable

not able; lacking the ability, means, or power to do something | incompetent | helpless; feeble (14 of 17 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/unable

Encarta Dictionary:

unable

not able to do something (5 of 15 words, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861707513​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

unable

First use: late 14th century

Origin: "lacking in ability, incapable", from "un-" (1) "not" + "able". Modeled on Old French inhabile or Latin inhabilis.

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=unable

Wiktionary:

unable

Origin: un- + able

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/unable

un-

Origin: Middle English un-, from Old English un- ("un-"), from Proto-Germanic *un- ("un-"), from ... | Middle English on-, from Old English ond-, and- ("against, facing, toward; in return, back, without"), from... (30 of 113 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/un-

able | abled [past tense] | abling [present participle] | ables [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English, from Old Northern French able, variant of Old French abile, habile, from Latin habilis ("easily managed, held, or handled; apt; skillful"), from habeō ("have, hold"). | Middle English ablen, from... (31 of 35 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/able

Audio references

Wiktionary:

unable

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "unable"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/unable

Collins Dictionary:

unable

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "unable"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/unable

Macmillan British Dictionary:

unable

Audio: British English pronunciation of "unable"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/unable

Macmillan American Dictionary:

unable

Audio: North American pronunciation of "unable"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/unable

Cambridge Dictionary:

unable

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "unable"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "unable"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/unable

the Free Dictionary:

unable

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "unable"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "unable"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "unable" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/unable

Google Dictionary:

unable

Audio: English pronunciation of "unable"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=unable

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

unable

Audio: North American pronunciation of "unable"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=unable​01 word=unable

YourDictionary Audio:

unable

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "unable" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/unable

freedictionary.org:

unable

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "unable" by speech synthesizer

freedictionary​.org​/ Query=unable

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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