🤩 Discover new information from across the web

unable definition


This page has two definitions of unable in English. Unable is an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use unable in a sentence are shown. Also define these 4 related words and terms: able, ability, render, and disable.



Etymology 1

From Middle English unable, unabel, unhable, unhabil, equivalent to un- +‎ able.


unable (comparative unabler or more unable, superlative unablest or most unable)

  1. Not able; lacking a certain ability.
    • 2011 December 21, Tom Rostance, “Fulham 0-5 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport:
      Fulham switched off as Giggs took a quick corner to Valencia. He played it back to Giggs, whose cross was headed in by Nani with the lurking Rooney unable to add a touch.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. […]  But the scandals kept coming, […]. A broad section of the political class now recognises the need for change but remains unable to see the necessity of a fundamental overhaul.
    Are you unable to mind your own business or something?

Etymology 2

From Middle English unablen, equivalent to un- +‎ able.


unable (third-person singular simple present unables, present participle unabling, simple past and past participle unabled)

  1. (transitive, nonstandard) To render unable; disable