Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

unable

[uhn-ey-buh l] /ʌnˈeɪ bəl/
adjective
1.
lacking the necessary power, competence, etc., to accomplish some specified act:
He was unable to swim.
Origin of unable
1350-1400
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at un-1, able
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for unable

unable

/ʌnˈeɪbəl/
adjective
1.
(postpositive) foll by to. lacking the necessary power, ability, or authority (to do something); not able
2.
(archaic) incompetent
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unable
adj.

late 14c., "lacking in ability, incapable," from un- (1) "not" + able. Modeled on Old French inhabile or Latin inhabilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unable

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unable

8
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unable