- not capable.
- not having the necessary ability, qualification, or strength to perform some specified act or function: As an administrator, he is simply incapable.
- without ordinary capability; incompetent.
- a thoroughly incompetent person, especially one of defective mentality.
- incapable of,
- not having the ability, qualification, or strength for (a specified act or function).
- not open to; not susceptible to or admitting: These materials are incapable of exact measurement.
- legally unqualified for.
Origin of incapable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. Incapable, incompetent, inefficient, unable are applied to a person or thing that is lacking in ability, preparation, or power for whatever is to be done. Incapable usually means inherently lacking in ability or power: incapable of appreciating music; a bridge incapable of carrying heavy loads. Incompetent, generally used only of persons, means unfit or unqualified for a particular task: incompetent as an administrator. Inefficient means wasteful in the use of effort or power: an inefficient manager; inefficient methods. Unable usually refers to a temporary condition of inability to do some specific thing: unable to relax, to go to a concert. 2. impotent, unqualified.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for incapable
She is incapable of responding to kindness and enquiry, even very gentle flirting on the part of a co-worker.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
Unlike influenza, it is incapable of traveling through tiny microscopic particles.
A “simple bout of flu” is incapable of mutating into an Ebola infection.
Nancy, on the other hand, was incapable of communicating her wishes.U.K. Courts Grant Mother Right to End Her 12-Year-Old Disabled Daughter’s Life
November 4, 2014
Used without a German army on the ground, as it had been in mainland Europe, the Luftwaffe was incapable of securing victory.Blood and War: The Hard Truth About ‘Boots on the Ground’
September 22, 2014
Without true grace mankind was weak, and incapable of success.The Dream
Keep the capable man down and you may level the incapable one up.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
He was incapable of speaking, and the driver, busy with his horses, said no more.
Hinde gaped at him, incapable of expressing himself with sufficient force.
Rima, incapable of understanding such a thing, took it differently.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
- (when postpositive, often foll by of) not capable (of); lacking the ability (to)
- powerless or helpless, as through injury or intoxication
- (postpositive foll by of) not susceptible (to); not admitting (of)a problem incapable of solution
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for incapable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper